• By The Financial District

CHINA CLAIMS CHICKEN WINGS FROM BRAZIL POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

A sample of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil has tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, authorities said Thursday, the latest in a series of reports of contaminated imported food products, Nectar Gan wrote for CNN late on August 13, 2020. 

The coronavirus was detected Wednesday on a surface sample taken from a batch of chicken wings during screening of imported frozen food in Longgang district of Shenzhen, the municipal government said in a statement. Officials did not name the brand. News of the contaminated chicken wings comes a day after coronavirus was found on the packaging of shrimps imported from Ecuador, another South American country, at a restaurant in eastern Anhui province during a routine inspection, China's state broadcaster CCTVreported. The COVID-19 virus was first detected in Wuhan City in the Hubei province of China in December 2019. 


However, health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have said the possibility of catching the virus through food is low. The WHO says it is "highly unlikely that people can contract Covid-19 from food or food packaging." According to the CDC, the risk of infection by the virus from food products, food packaging, or bags is "thought to be very low." 


David Hui Shu-cheong, a respiratory medicine expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the imported food products that tested positive in China were almost certain to have been contaminated during packaging. But he said it doesn't necessarily mean that they're infectious -- the nucleic acid tests could be picking up the RNA of dead virus. These remnants of the virus are known to have caused false positive results on patients who have recovered from the coronavirus, such as in South Korea. If the virus taken from the food products can be grown in labs, however, then they are infectious, he said, adding that the coronavirus can survive freezing temperatures and still be active when thawed.