The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a statement on its website on Friday (11/13), that it had detected the presence of the new coronavirus on the packaging of a batch of Brazilian beef, as it ramped up testing of frozen foods this week as part of its national campaign Monday ( 16/11/2020).
As reported by Reuters, the Wuhan City Health Commission has found three positive samples on the outer packaging of frozen boneless beef from Brazil. The beef entered China via the Qingdao port on August 7 and reached Wuhan on August 17, where the meat products have remained in cold storage facilities until now.
According to the Commission, the registration code for beef shipment exporters is 2015, and refers to a factory owned by Marfrig Global Foods SA in Várzea Grande, Mato Grosso state. So far Marfrig has declined to comment. The Brazilian government itself did not immediately comment on the status of the factory’s license to sell beef to China.
According to the commerce ministry’s website, the Várzea Grande Marfrig facility had previously been suspended by China due to coronavirus concerns. The ban has been in effect since September 22 and was lifted on October 23. More than 100 staff at the Wuhan facility have undergone tests and 200 environmental samples have been taken.
After taking drastic measures to control the spread of the virus in society this year, China at the end of last June began testing imported food. In September, they only found 22 positive samples out of nearly 3 million, but after some workers at the port were recently found to be infected with the virus, they stepped up testing and disinfection of food imports from this week.
Chinese authorities also found the coronavirus on packaging for Argentine beef this week, and another sample of imported beef was found positive in Shandong, the province’s representative said on Friday. China is the world’s biggest buyer of beef and Brazil and Argentina are the biggest suppliers.