China restricts frozen food imports from high-risk Covid nations
BEIJING is urging Chinese companies to stop importing frozen food from countries severely hit by the Covid crisis as fears mount over virus transmission through packaging, reports Bloomberg
04 October 2020 - 19:00
The Beijing municipal government has told companies to avoid importing frozen food from high-risk nations, without naming any. The order comes after China found its first local asymptomatic infections in more than a month in frozen food tested workers.
Chinese customs and local governments say they have repeatedly detected traces of Covid in imported cold-chain foods at a time when foreign food companies continued to report new infections, Beijing's commerce bureau said on its website.
Last week, China suspended some seafood imports from two Russian vessels and a Brazilian company after the coronavirus was found on packaging and product samples. In recent weeks, the Asian country has banned imports from plants in Ecuador, Brazil and Indonesia, disrupting trading channels.
While cold-storage facilities and meat-processing plants are ideal environments for the virus to thrive, there has been no concrete evidence the virus can be transmitted through food and packaging, and experts remain doubtful that it's a major threat.
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