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China says Brazil chicken wings, Ecuador shrimp contaminated with coronavirus — but there's a good reason you shouldn't panic


Not great news

Photo by Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Frozen chicken wings that were exported from Brazil to China reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, according to a Thursday statement from Chinese officials.

Coronavirus was also reportedly detected on frozen packages of shrimp, which were shipped from Ecuador.

Officials say, however, that the likelihood of contracting coronavirus through contaminated food is quite low.

Chicken, shrimp found with traces of coronavirus

A Thursday Bloomberg article noted that officials recently discovered the infected frozen goods in Shenzhen, a city in the province of Guangdong.

Health officials discovered the infection during routine screenings of imported meat products.

"The positive sample appears to have been taken from the surface of the meat, while previously reported positive cases from other Chinese cities have been from the surface of packaging on imported frozen seafood," Bloomberg reported.

The outlet reported that any people who came into contact with the wings were tested by local health authorities. All results at the time of this reporting are said to have come back negative.

Heath officials are cautioning Shenzhen consumers to be wary when purchasing frozen imported foods.

Here's why you shouldn't worry too much

Researchers say that there's no evidence that COVID-19 can be contracted via food contamination.

The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization both say that the possibility of catching the virus through food transmission is low.

The CDC and the WHO both insist that COVID-19 mainly passes through person-to-person respiratory transmission.

The WHO says, "There is no evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses being transmitted via food or food packaging. Coronaviruses cannot multiply in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply."

This is a change from its May stance, which pointed out that while "COVID-19 spreads primarily from person to person," it reportedly "can also spread if you touch contaminated objects and surfaces."

In May, the CDC noted that "the virus spreads easily between people" but "does not spread easily in other ways."

Guidance also added, "It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads."

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