Frozen chicken wings imported to Shenzhen, China from Brazil have tested positive for traces of the COVID-19 virus. The packaging of frozen shrimp from Ecuador imported to Xian, China also tested positive for novel coronavirus. As reported by Reuters, in spite of these developments the World Health Organization (WHO) isn’t currently concerned about coronavirus becoming a food safety risk.
The frozen chicken wings originated from a company called Aurora, Brazil’s third largest exporter of both chicken and pork. At the time the Reuters article went to press, Aurora stated they hadn’t yet been informed directly from Chinese authorities about the “alleged contamination.”
5. How China Found the Virus in Food Imports
Since the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, China has been testing all food and food packaging coming through their major ports. Samples are taken from food and food packaging, which is how the virus was discovered in these cases.
Once the virus was detected in the imported frozen chicken wings, health officials in the city of Shenzhen tested every person who might have come in contact with the shipment. They reported that all people tested were negative for COVID-19. City health officials in Xian reported that coronavirus testing of people working around their shrimp imports also came back negative.
4. How Coronavirus Lives on Frozen Food
Viruses can live for quite a while in freezing temperatures. The Reuters article states, “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.”
The China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment has stated that they could not dismiss the possibility of more traces of COVID-19 in frozen food imports contributing to virus spread.
Though coronavirus is mainly spread through person to person contact, there is a low chance of contracting it from our hands when we touch our face.