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Coronavirus has been found in frozen food imports such as fried chicken in two Chinese cities.
The deadly bug has been found in samples of food, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) has downplayed the risk of the deadly bug entering the food chain.
Two cities have found traces of the new coronavirus in cargoes of imported frozen food, local authorities said yesterday.
A sample taken from the surface of frozen chicken wings imported into the southern city of Shenzhen from Brazil, as well as samples of outer packaging of frozen Ecuadorian shrimp sold in the northwestern city of Xian, have tested positive for the virus, local Chinese authorities said.
As confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise globally, the discoveries raise fresh concerns that the coronavirus that causes the disease can spread on surfaces and enter the food chain.
Viruses can survive up to two years at temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius, but scientists and officials say there is no strong evidence so far the coronavirus can spread via frozen food.
“People should not fear food, food packaging or delivery of food,” the World Health Organisation’s head of emergencies programme Mike Ryan told a briefing.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Agriculture Department said in a joint statement “there is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from food or from food packaging.”
China claims chicken wings from Brazil have tested positive for coronavirus
This week Chinese authorities also found the coronavirus on packaging of imported frozen seafood in an area which has seen a recent spike in cases.
The seafood of unknown origin arrived from the port city of Dalian, which recently battled a surge of Covid, including among workers at a seafood processing plant.
The latest outbreak of coronavirus in Dalian city started in late July, with the first case hitting a seafood processing company.
By August 9, Dalian had reported a total of 92 cases.
Now authorities have said on Tuesday the potentially deadly virus was found on the outer packaging of frozen seafood shipped in by three companies based in Yantai, a port city in eastern Shandong province.
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