Authorities scramble after almost 5,000 boxes of ice cream infected with coronavirus

17 Janvier, 2021, 06:59 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Ice Cream Tests Positive For Covid-19 In China

The National Health Commission said in a statement that 96 of the new cases were local infections, 72 of them in Hebei province surrounding Beijing city, 12 in northeastern Heilongjiang province, 10 in northeastern Jilin province and two in Beijing.

Tests discovered three samples of locally produced ice cream were found to be contaminated in the Tianjin municipality, in the north-east of the country.

The company has sealed and contained all its products after the tests found the virus in the ice cream this week.

"Of course, any level of contamination is not acceptable and always a cause for concern, but the chances are that this is the result of an issue with the production plant and potentially down to hygiene at the factory".

NHC Minister Ma Xiaowei made the comments at a government meeting, where he also said the virus was spreading to rural areas and that the handling of the recent situation had exposed how prevention and control measures had been relaxed.

But he added: 'We probably don't need to panic that every bit of ice cream is suddenly going to be contaminated with coronavirus'.

The Ministry for Primary Industries said it was not aware of any evidence that New Zealand milk powder was the source of Covid-19.

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The Chinese government has suggested the disease might have originated overseas and publicized what it says is the discovery of the virus on imported food, mostly frozen fish, though foreign scientists are skeptical.

"The scientific literature and experience of global public health authorities is that transmission by airborne droplets and aerosols is the dominant pathway for COVID-19 infection".

China is the only country to claim COVID-19 can be transmitted via cold chain imports, even though the World Health Organization has downplayed the risks, and has been pushing a narrative via state media that the virus existed overseas before it was discovered late past year in the central city of Wuhan.

The company has confirmed that as of 2pm Thursday China time, 1,662 employees have been quarantined and tested.

The contaminated ice cream caused Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Company to dump 2,089 boxes of the product, although officials believe more than double that amount - 4,836 boxes - has been contaminated, Sky News reported.

More than half of the boxes have been sealed, with at least 65 having been sold. The city has contacted regulation authorities to trace those who purchased the ice cream.

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