China, the biggest importer of beef and the first (and largest) exporter of Coronavirus, has now sounded alarm bells after finding COVID virus samples on packaged beef that it had imported from Brazil and Saudi Arabian Shrimp. Additionally, Chinese authorities also found the presence of Coronavirus samples on packaged Argentinian beef. While China is the world’s top beef buyer, Brazil and Argentina are its largest suppliers.
The first such instance has been reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where incidentally, the Coronavirus originated. Reuters reported that the first such virus sample was detected on Friday on a batch of packaged Brazilian Beef.
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission has said in a statement on its website that it had found three positive samples on the outer packaging of frozen, boneless beef from Brazil. The packaged beef had entered China at Qingdao port on 7th August and it reached Wuhan on 17th August. Until recently, it was in cold storage.
Soon after Coronavirus samples were detected on the beef, China proceeded to collect more than 200 environmental samples. It also tested 100 staff members working at these locations. It is also being reported that more than 7,500 people who may have had contact with the contaminated products and other related personnel have tested negative for the virus that causes COVID-19.
As for the Saudi Arabian Shrimp, The Lanzhou Municipal Health Commission said it a statement that it had found one positive sample of Covid-19 on the inner packaging of imported frozen shrimp from Saudi Arabia. The shrimp had passed through customers in the coastal city of Tianjin. Reportedly, the contaminated product had entered China on 21st October and reached Lanzhou on the 8th of November. The cold storage facility where the Shrimp was kept has now been temporarily closed.
Earlier, frozen German pork had prompted a new case of Coronavirus in China.
Interestingly, however, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says there is “no evidence” to suggest food is associated with spreading the virus, while the World Health Organization (WHO) says it’s not necessary to disinfect food packaging.