The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Thursday said a sample of frozen Brazilian chicken that was imported in the city tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Reuters reports.
Since a new outbreak in Beijing was linked to a major whole foods market called Xinfadi, Chinese authorities have been routinely screening imports of meat and seafood from other countries.
On June 15th, at least three districts of Beijing was put to war-time emergency after new clusters of infections started to emerge from the city. The outbreak was linked to the Xinfadi seafood market – Asia’s biggest of a kind.
According to the report, Shenzhen health authorities have traced and tested all the people involved in handling the frozen Brazilain Chickens while also testing other products kept near the infected batch.
The volume of the import is not clear, nor what will be done with the infected meat has been announced. Other food products however tested negative.
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A public alert has been initiated when it comes to handling imported meat or seafood. This is not the first time seafood and meat products contaminated with COVID-19 was reported.
Just recently, China announced packagings of shrimps imported from Equador which tested positive for the virus as well.
Experts have weighed into the fact that the virus can thrive on contaminated food put in the cold and frozen environments and can be a potential source for transmission, but the virus cannot reproduce and survive for long at room temperature.
Coronavirus originated at a wet market in Wuhan called the Hunan Seafood Market. Initial reports on the origin of the virus say it originated in an animal which sprung into humans after contamination.
China is one of the world’s largest consumer of meats and the biggest consumer of pork. Brazil is the second worst-hit country with the virus after the US.