Concerned you could contract the novel coronavirus from food or food packaging? No need for such fears, said the World Health Organization (WHO) this week.
“People should not fear food, or food packaging or processing or delivery of food,” Mike Ryan, the executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said Thursday from Geneva, according to Reuters.
The official’s comments came after a report that a batch of frozen chicken wings from Brazil that were exported to China tested positive for the novel virus, Chinese officials said this week.
Routine screenings of imported meat and seafood in the city of Shenzhen revealed the coronavirus-positive poultry, The New York Post reported, noting that all those who may have come into contact with the chicken wings — “along with food products stored near the batch,” per the Post — were tested for COVID-19. However, all results were reportedly negative.
Additionally this week, the virus was found on the packaging of frozen seafood shipped from Ecuador to China.
However, “there is no evidence that food or the food chain is participating in [the] transmission of this virus. And people should feel comfortable and safe,” Ryan added Thursday.
WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove also spoke on the topic, noting that Chinese officials have tested “hundreds of thousands of packages” but “found very, very few, less than 10” that were positive for COVID-19, per Reuters.