The deadly novel coronavirus has been detected in some samples of ice cream in northern China, forcing authorities to seize products that have been potentially contaminated.
According to a report by Sky News, anti-epidemic authorities in Tianjin Municipality are now contact tracing people to identify those who have come into contact with the batches that were manufactured by Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Company in order to quarantine them.
All of the products by Tianjin Daqiaodao have now been sealed temporarily. Earlier, the company had sent three samples of its product to the municipal centre for disease control in order to have them tested for coronavirus. All three tested positive, according to The Independent.
According to the investigation that has been carried out so far, the company used multiple raw materials to make the batches of ice cream. And some of them were imported. For instance, the milk powder was imported from New Zealand while the whey powder had been imported from Ukraine.
The company also confirmed that over 1600 employees had been placed in quarantine following the report. Around 700 of them have already tested negative for coronavirus while the remaining are yet to be confirmed.
A health expert has said that there is no reason for concern and that it is likely that the infection came from a person.
This is not the first time China claimed that coronavirus had been detected in food samples.
In November 2020, Chinese officials claimed that traces of COVID-19 were found on cold-chain imports from different countries, including India. Two Indian frozen butterfish packages, one Russian frozen salmon packaging sample and two Argentina frozen beef samples tested positive for COVID-19, the report said. Chinese officials said coronavirus traces were found on packages from 20 countries.
This is the second-time Chinese officials claimed to have found coronavirus on Indian fish exports. On November 13, China's General Administration of Customs suspended imports of seafood products from an Indian company for one week starting from Friday after COVID-19 was found on the outer packaging of some samples of frozen cuttlefish.
A few weeks earlier, the Chinese city of Jinan said it had found coronavirus on beef and tripe and their packaging from Brazil, Bolivia and New Zealand, while two other provincial capitals detected it on packaging on pork from Argentina.
China had ramped up testing on frozen foods after repeatedly detecting the virus on imported products, triggering disrupting import bans, even as the World Health Organization says the risk of catching COVID-19 from frozen food is low.