China just found traces of coronavirus in frozen chicken imported from Brazil. Authorities say they don’t know yet at which stage the frozen chicken got infected.
Earlier this year World health organisation downplayed the risk of virus entering the food chain. Traces of SARS-CoV-2 were found in imported frozen food in 2 Chinese cities. Authorities in the city of Shenzhen took samples from the surface of frozen chicken wings. The chicken wings were imported from Brazil. They also took samples of the outer packaging of frozen shrimps imported from Ecuador.
Shrimps were sold in the northwestern city of Xian. Both the Brazilian and Ecuadorian samples have tested positive for the coronavirus. Shenzhen authorities traced the chicken back to Brazilian plant. The plant is owned by Brazil’s third-largest poultry and pork exporter. The company said it takes all possible measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The company added that there is no evidence it can spread through food. The latest discoveries raise concerns among the public that the virus can spread on surfaces and enter the food chain. But experts say there is no strong evidence the coronavirus can spread via frozen food. WHO said people should not fear food packaging or delivery food. Health authorities in the city of Shenzhen are tracing and testing people and surrounding regions linked to the contaminated shrimp products. So far yet most of test results were negative. 7 Argentine meat processing plants are temporarily not exporting to Chinese markets. Some of these processing plant employees have been tested positive for COVID-19. Few days earlier, authorities were investigating the possibility that the first COVID-19 cases in New Zealand in more than 3 months were imported by freight to the coronavirus-free island.
It is to be noted all fast-food chains in the UK use frozen meat. Some fast-food chains like McDonalds and KFC have foreign suppliers like Brazil, Thailand and other countries.
Almost 60% of KFC’s 60,000 metric tons of chicken, is purchased from the four largest suppliers in the UK 3 times a week, including Faccenda Group and 2 Sisters Food Group. Both of these companies were sued for food hygiene and environmental damage.
In August 2014, an undercover investigation into 2 Sisters Food Group showed high levels of the food poisoning bacteria campylobacter in food in the UK showed raw contaminated chicken.
In 2017 KFC supplier 2 Sisters Food Group were brought to court for changing expiry dates of raw chicken. Recently in June 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Health Wales confirmed 75 cases at the 2 Sisters Food Group chicken factory in Llangefni on Anglesey. The remaining 40% of suppliers are sourced from companies outside UK like, Brazil and Thailand.
It is important to follow good food hygiene practices when preparing food. Hygiene is crucial to avoid food contamination and foodborne diseases.
You should cook your food thoroughly, separate raw and cooked food and keep your hands and kitchen clean. Home cooked meals should always be prioritised over food delivery.