A man looks at frozen food products in a supermarket in Beijing, China (Photo: Reuters)
BEIJING: China cities have found traces of coronavirus in cargoes of imported frozen food, international media reports have said.
The World Health Organization (WHO), however, downplayed the risk of the virus entering the food chain.
Reports said samples taken from the surface of frozen chicken wings imported to Shenzhen from Brazil, and samples of outer packaging of frozen Ecuadorian shrimp sold in Xian, have tested positive for the virus, Chinese authorities said.
Shenzhen authorities also identified the chicken as originating from a plant owned by Aurora, which is Brazil’s third-largest poultry exporter.
The reports have raised fresh concerns that coronavirus that causes the disease can spread on surfaces and enter the food chain.
Coronaviruses can survive up to two years at temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius.
However, scientists say there is no evidence so far the coronavirus can spread via frozen food.
The WHO said people should not fear food, food packaging or delivery of food.
The US Food and Drug Administration and Agriculture Department said in a joint statement that there was no evidence that people can contract coronavirus from food or from food packaging.
(With inputs from Agencies)