Brazil has asked Chinese authorities to provide evidence of its alleged findings in the chicken wings exported by the South American country, according to a statement sent to Reuters by Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday. Brazilian agriculture delegates demanded the evidence during a meeting in the city of Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, with local health and trade officials on Tuesday, the statement added.
According to the statement, the Chinese officials said health authorities of Guangdong, who were not present in the talks, had the results of the tests.
The Brazilian envoys said they will stay in touch with China’s municipal, provincial and central government’s in order to obtain the results as well as further information about the issue.
Aurora, the company which operates the poultry plant that produced the chicken wings in Southern Brazil, voluntarily halted poultry exports to China starting August 20.
The suspension allows the firm to wait until more information regarding the reported contamination is provided.
According to the Brazilian government, Chinese officials at the briefing said three samples were contaminated – one taken from the chicken wings, and two from the packaging of products coming from Aurora’s facilities.
The statement said: “The health authorities in Shenzhen were unable to say whether the findings concerned only the detection of the virus’ genetic material or the active virus, nor were they able to provide further information about the alleged finding.”
The purported positive results resulted in the Philippines introducing a temporary ban on poultry meat imports from Brazil.
Hong Kong also suspended chicken imports from Aurora’s Xaxim plant.
But according to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence showing that humans can contract the disease from food.
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It added: “There is currently no evidence that people can catch COVID-19 from food.
“The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed at temperatures similar to that of other known viruses and bacteria found in food.
“Foods such as meat, poultry and eggs should always be thoroughly cooked to at least 70°C.
“Before cooking, raw animal products should be handled with care to avoid cross-contamination with cooked foods.”
David Hui Shu-cheong, a respiratory medicine expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the imported food products that tested positive in China were almost certain to have been come into contact with he virus during packaging.