Coronavirus found on frozen food packaging in Chinese cities

Three Chinese cities have reported detecting coronavirus on imported frozen food over the span of four days, raising fresh concerns contaminated food shipments could lead to new outbreaks.

On Thursday, health officials in the southeastern city of Shenzhen said a surface sample of frozen chicken wings from Brazil has tested positive for the virus. The virus was detected as part of routine screenings being carried out on meat and seafood imports since June in the wake of an outbreak in Beijing linked to a major wholesale food market.

The Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission said in a statement it traced and tested everyone who may have come into contact with potentially contaminated food products, and all results were negative.

“All the citizens should be cautious in buying imported frozen meat products and aquatic products in recent days,” the commission warned the city’s 12 million residents.

The discovery comes a day after the virus was found on the packaging of the frozen shrimp imported from Ecuador during another routine inspection at a restaurant in the southeast city of Wuhu, health officials there reported.

On Monday, health officials in the port city of Yantai in eastern China said coronavirus was detected on the outer packaging of frozen seafood transported by a foreign ship. It was not clear where the food was imported from.

Last month, Chinese health officials have also reported coronavirus presence on imported frozen food packaging in the cities of Dalian, Xiamen and Pingxiang.