PepsiCo China food processing factory halted after COVID-19 infection found

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BEIJING (Reuters) - PepsiCo China said on Sunday that operations at one of its food processing plants in Beijing had been suspended after at least one employee tested positive for the coronavirus, in the latest outbreak of COVID-19 virus in the capital.

Production at the factory in the Daxing district was halted as soon as the first coronavirus case was confirmed on June 15, PepsiCo China director of corporate affairs, Fan Zhimin, told a news conference, without saying how many cases were detected.

A senior official for the Beijing disease control authority, Pang Xinghuo, told the same news conference that eight people at the Daxing plant had tested positive.

Lay’s, which is owned by PepsiCo, said in a post on its micro-blog that the affected food-processing plant produced a small quantity of its potato chips. It said the chance of any virus surviving during food processing was very low.

Beijing reported its first case in the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the city on June 11. The resurgence, in which 227 people have been infected, has been linked to Beijing’s Xinfadi wholesale food centre near Daxing district.

Reporting by Ryan Woo and Liangping Gao; Editing by Edmund Blair