The General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China has suspended imports and ordered recalls of frozen shrimp from three Ecuadorian companies after the government claimed ‘outer packaging… were at risk of being contaminated by the new coronavirus’.
In response, the president of the National Fisheries Institute, John Connelly, has issued a state asserting that the US Food and Drug Administration has been clear that there is no known transmission of the novel coronavirus from ‘food or food packaging’ and that there is ‘no reason to be concerned’ about the virus passing in this way.
Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organisation and the European Food Safety Agency reinforce this finding. In fact, the Chinese Customs announcement states they found no evidence of the virus on the inner packaging of the samples they tested, nor on the shrimp itself.
In addition, the Chinese government emphasised humans would not get Covid-19 from the shrimp, stating, ‘Experts judged that the result of the detection did not mean that it was transmissive.”
Governments should follow the advice of the World Health Organization, which states, ‘Food has not been implicated in the transmission of COVID-19”’ and continues ‘testing of food or food surfaces for this virus is not recommended’.