China's Shenzhen adds more virus tests for frozen food imports

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Shenzhen city is requiring additional tests on frozen meat and seafood, after finding the coronavirus on chicken wings from Brazil last week.

The city government said on its official microblog on Monday it had set up a central warehouse where all imported foods already cleared through customs would need to undergo further tests before being sold or processed in the city.

The new warehouse, to begin operations on Aug. 18, will sterilise outer packaging and run coronavirus tests on samples of the frozen meat and seafood, it said.

Any business storing, selling or processing imported meat and seafood must have a certificate showing it has cleared the warehouse inspections, added the notice.

The move by one of China’s largest cities and major southern port shows the lingering concerns that imported food could bring in the virus, even as experts and the World Health Organization have downplayed the risk of the virus entering the food chain.

China has also suspended imports from dozens of meat processing plants after outbreaks of the virus among workers.

Last week Shenzhen sealed off a mall in the city after a worker at a supermarket inside was confirmed to have the coronavirus.

Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama