In this file:
· China's sweeping COVID controls put frozen food importers on ice
· Wuhan, China authorities find coronavirus on packaging of Brazilian beef
· China Suspends Frozen Fish Imports From Indian Firm After Detecting Coronavirus In Samples China Suspends Frozen Fish Imports From Indian Firm After Detecting Coronavirus In Samples
· China halts frozen product imports from Indian firm, surge in imported infections rings alarm of virus onslaught in winter
China's sweeping COVID controls put frozen food importers on ice
By Cate Cadell, Reuters
November 13, 2020
BEIJING (Reuters) - The WHO says the risk of catching COVID-19 from frozen food is low, but China has repeatedly sounded alarms after detecting the virus on packaging of products ranging from German pork knuckles to Ecuadorian shrimp, triggering disruptive import bans.
China, which has used drastic measures to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, this week tightened restrictions requiring “full coverage” testing and disinfection of imported food products, following a smattering of positive samples detected on beef, pork and seafood.
The country has suspended imports of 99 suppliers from 20 countries, the National Health Commission said on Thursday.
Beijing argues that such measures are needed prevent the import of the virus, which has been largely contained domestically. A seafood market in the central city of Wuhan is widely believed to be the origin of the pandemic that emerged late last year and has now killed more than 1.25 million people.
The clampdown has caused upheaval in parts of China’s cold chain logistics network and sparked grumbling among diplomats in Beijing that the effort is politically driven, with critics saying the measures are costly and unnecessary.
Last week, cold chain facilities in the northern port city of Tianjin were shuttered when a 38-year-old frozen food worker who tested positive for the virus was linked to a 28.1 tonne shipment of frozen German pork knuckles.
“We can’t import any seafood as our warehouses have not finished rectification work yet,” said an importer in Henan province who manages logistics for imported seafood and fruit.
“It started in October and it has been over a month now and I don’t expect it would be finished by the end of the year,” said the importer, asking not to be identified.
While scientists say that chances of infection from frozen food are low, Chinese authorities say two dock workers in Qingdao caught the virus last month from the packaging of frozen cod - an assertion that some experts have questioned.
‘COMPLETE ELIMINATION’ ...
Wuhan, China authorities find coronavirus on packaging of Brazilian beef
13 Nov, 2020
Authorities in Wuhan claimed on Friday they had detected coronavirus on the packaging of a batch of Brazilian beef. The Chinese city, where the pandemic began late last year, has stepped up efforts to test frozen foods.
The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission found three positive samples on the outer packaging of frozen, boneless beef from Brazil, it said in a statement. The beef was shipped to Qingdao Port on August 7. It reached the central Chinese city in 10 days and remained in a cold storage facility, the commission added.
It has taken 200 environmental samples, and more than 100 staff members at the Wuhan facility underwent tests.
China is the top beef buyer in the world, with Brazil and Argentina being its largest suppliers. Earlier this week, Chinese authorities said they had found coronavirus on the packaging of Argentinian beef, while the Shandong province said that another imported beef sample was also positive.
China has been testing imported food for the virus since late June. In mid-August, authorities claimed they had detected Covid-19 in a cargo of chicken wings, also imported from Brazil. They said the virus was present in a sample collected in the southern city of Shenzhen...
China Suspends Frozen Fish Imports From Indian Firm After Detecting Coronavirus In Samples
· The Chinese government has called for a temporary ban on fish import from Basu International, a seafood export company based in Kolkata.
· On Friday, the Chinese city of Wuhan said it had also detected the novel coronavirus on the packaging of a batch of Brazilian beef, as it ramped up testing of frozen foods this week as part of a nationwide campaign.
· According to the new guidelines, disinfection will need to be carried out before loading or transporting imported cold chain products.
Gursharan Bhalla, India Times
Nov 13, 2020
China has said that it has suspended imports from an Indian fish firm after coronavirus was found from three of its samples. The Chinese government has called for a temporary ban on fish import from Basu International, a seafood export company based in Kolkata.
COVID on frozen cuttlefish
China’s custom office said it will suspend fish imports from India’s Basu International for a week. The General Administration of Customs added that imports will resume automatically after one week. The samples used to detect novel coronavirus were taken from the outer packaging of frozen cuttlefish, Reuters reported.
On Friday, the Chinese city of Wuhan said it had also detected the novel coronavirus on the packaging of a batch of Brazilian beef, as it ramped up testing of frozen foods this week as part of a nationwide campaign. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a statement on its website it had found three positive samples on the outer packaging of frozen, boneless beef from Brazil.
Chinese authorities also found the coronavirus on the packaging of Argentinian beef this week, and another imported beef sample was found to be positive in Shandong, that province said on Friday.
China is the world's top beef buyer and Brazil and Argentina its largest suppliers.
China tightens rules ...
China halts frozen product imports from Indian firm, surge in imported infections rings alarm of virus onslaught in winter
Source: Global Times (China)
China's General Administration of Customs suspended imports of seafood products from an Indian company for one week starting from Friday, after COVID-19 was found on the outer packaging of some samples of frozen cuttle fish from the company, while the public has been raising concerns over a surge in imported infections and a winter "twindemic" onslaught.
Liangshan county in East China's Shandong Province on Friday reported that packaging from one batch of imported frozen beef tested positive for COVID-19. The beef was delivered from another Chinese city.
In addition to frozen seafood, coronavirus was also found on the packaging of imported pork and beef recently. And there is always a risk of imported cases from overseas arrivals.
Control and management of resources will be strengthened, Bi Kexin, head of the import and export food safety bureau of the General Administration of Customs, told a press conference on Thursday, noting that Chinese customs will further enhance their inspection of cold-chain imported foods in a bid to prevent the risk of imported coronavirus infections
China has communicated with the authorities of 109 countries that export cold-chain food products to China, with suggestions and requirements receiving active responses from the respective departments, Bi said, adding that 140 cold-chain food producers from 50 countries have been inspected, and 22 companies have been dealt with regarding unqualified products.
It has been estimated that there have been over 25 novel coronavirus cases detected in imported food cold chains since the first case was found in July, mostly from major frozen food exporting countries including Ecuador, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil and Norway.
Tianjin, a city neighboring Beijing and North China's Hebei, shut down a wholesale market after finding COVID-19 on its imported cold-chain products for two consecutive days. A Tianjin worker in the cold chain industry was confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 this week. Two Chinese cities have been involved into Tianjin's cases as some batches of frozen goods sold in these cities were delivered from Tianjin.
The COVID-19 strain taken from samples of the confirmed case in the city shows that the virus belongs to the L genotype from Europe...
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