In the Chinese city of Shenzhen, city authorities have asked consumers to exercise caution while buying imported frozen food after a surface sample of imported frozen chicken wings from Brazil—the second-highest Coronavirus infected country in the world—tested positive for the virus.
As per a statement by the local government, local disease control centers tested a surface sample of the imported frozen meat, as part of a routine screening of seafood and meat imports that started in June, after the COVID-19 outbreak in Beijing, linked to Xinfadi market.
According to the statement, the registration number of the shipment belongs to an Aurora Alimentos plant in Brazil's southern state of Santa Catarina. The health authorities in Shenzhen traced and tested people who have possibly come into contact with the contaminated product and tested related products. But the statement revealed that all of the reports came negative.
However, the Shenzhen Epidemic Prevention and Control Headquarters asked consumers to be cautious while buying imported frozen foods and seafood products. People are advised to take precautions in order to reduce Coronavirus infection risk.
In a northern city of China's Shandong province, Yantai, three packaging samples of imported frozen seafood tested positive for the virus, said the city government, which announced the new finding on its official Weibo account on Tuesday, August 11. As per the government, the seafood came from an imported shipment that entered the country in a foreign vessel through Dalian.
State television on Wednesday, August 12 reported that the outside of an Ecuador frozen shrimp package tested positive for Coronavirus in a restaurant in Wuhu, a city in China's Anhui province.
In June, SARS-CoV-2 was found on imported seafood, beef, and lamb items in Beijing. In July, the packaging of frozen shrimp imported from Ecuador to Dalian was found with the virus. Following the recent outbreaks in the food industry, the Chinese government started to monitor all the imported frozen food items.
Frozen Food Items
Experts have advised people not to eat raw frozen foods like salmon after Coronavirus was found on chopping boards used to cut salmon for imports in Beijing's food market. Wu Zunyou, Chief Epidemiologist of China's Center for Diseases Prevention and Control, told Chinese media that the SARS-CoV-2 can survive on the surface of frozen food for up to three months and the health agency "highly suspects" contaminated products were the source of the outbreak in Beijing.
Dale Fisher, the Singapore-Based Disease Expert and Chair of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network Coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) explained, "If we want to store virus, we freeze it." So if the virus is packed with the frozen product then it would survive said Fisher and added that "We normally talk about less than a week, but we know that the colder it is, the longer it will last ... That's part of the theory around why the virus is more contagious in winter."