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Chicken Wings Imported From Brazil Tested Positive For Coronavirus – China

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Authorities in southern China have said chicken wings imported from Brazil have tested positive for coronavirus.

Chinese authorities said this in a statement on Thursday, which serves as the latest in a series of reports of contaminated imported food products, CNN reports.

The coronavirus was detected on Wednesday on a surface sample taken from a batch of chicken wings during screening of imported frozen food in Longgang district of Shenzhen but officials did not name the brand.

Shenzhen health authorities immediately traced and tested people who might have come into contact with the product but all results came back negative. All related products in stock have been sealed off and tested negative.

Authorities are now tracing related products from the same brand that have already been sold, and have disinfected the area where the contaminated chicken wings were stored.

Brazil has so far reported more than 3.1 million coronavirus cases, the second highest in the world after the United States – over 5.3 million.

The report of contaminated chicken wings comes a day after coronavirus was found on the packaging of shrimps imported from Ecuador, another South American country, at a restaurant in China during a routine inspection, CCTV reports.

Since July, there have been seven instances where the virus was detected on the packaging of imported seafood products across the country, according to state media reports.

These incidents have sparked concerns over the safety of imported foods. Chinese health authorities have repeatedly told the public to be cautious about buying imported meat and seafood. On Chinese social media, some have called for the suspension of all frozen food imports.

However, international health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have said the possibility of catching the virus through food is low.

WHO said;

It is highly unlikely that people can contract Covid-19 from food or food packaging. There is no evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses being transmitted via food or food packaging. Coronaviruses cannot multiply in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply.

According to the CDC, the risk of infection by the virus from food products, food packaging, or bags is “thought to be very low.”

Both organizations point out that the coronavirus spreads mostly person to person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.

David Hui Shu-cheong, a respiratory medicine expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the imported food products that tested positive in China were almost certain to have been contaminated during packaging.

He said;

They are infectious — the nucleic acid tests could be picking up the RNA of dead virus. These remnants of the virus are known to have caused false positive results on patients who have recovered from the coronavirus, such as in South Korea.

If the virus taken from the food products can be grown in labs, however, then they are infectious. The coronavirus can survive freezing temperatures and still be active when defrosted.

This comes months after the first reported coronavirus in China was detected in Hunan seafood market in the central city of Wuhan.

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