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A sample of frozen chicken wings shipped from Brazil to China tested positive for COVID-19, Chinese officials announced Thursday.
But there is no evidence that coronavirus can be transmitted by eating or handling food, according to health experts.
Health officials in Shenzhen Longjiang District examined imported frozen food on Wednesday when a surface sample of frozen chicken wings tested positive for coronavirus, according to an Office notice. Shenzhen Headquarters for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency then tested other products and people who may have come into contact with chicken wings. All tests were negative.
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While many have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment, current evidence suggests that coronaviruses, like COVID-19, are mainly spread through person-to-person contact, according to Control Center guidelines and Disease Prevention.
“There is no evidence that food handling or food consumption is linked to COVID-19,” said the CDC.
However, the CDC says, it is possible to get the virus by touching an infected surface or object, including food or food packaging. But the risk is very low.
According to the CDC, there have been no confirmed cases in which a person was infected by touching food, food packaging or shopping bags.
World Health Organization guidelines also state that food-borne transmission is particularly unlikely. “Coronaviruses cannot reproduce in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply,” said WHO.
“It is still unclear when the packaging was contaminated and whether it happened during export transport,” CNN reported.
The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture said Chinese officials did not inform them of the incident, CNN reported. Brazil has the second highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. It has over 3 million confirmed cases and more than 104,000 deaths.
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