A sample of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil has tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, authorities said Thursday, the latest in a series of reports of contaminated imported food products.
The coronavirus was detected Wednesday on a surface sample taken from a batch of chicken wings during screening of imported frozen food in Longgang district of Shenzhen, the municipal government said in a statement. Officials did not name the brand.
Shenzhen health authorities immediately traced and tested people who might have come into contact with the product, and all results came back negative; all related products in stock have been sealed off and tested negative, the statement said.
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, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally.
News of the 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 eastern Anhui province during a routine inspection, China’s state broadcaster CCTV reported.
Since July, there have been seven instances where the virus was detected on the packaging of imported seafood products across the country, from Shandong province on the eastern coast to the municipality of Chongqing in the west, 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.
‘No evidence’ of food transmission
But 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.
The WHO says it is “highly unlikely that people can contract Covid-19 from food or food packaging.” According to the CDC, the risk of infection by the virus from food products, food packaging, or bags is “thought to be very low.”