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Coronavirus found in supplies of 22 foreign food importers in China


China has paused or revoked the registry of 22 foreign food importers whose supplies were found to have been contaminated by novel coronavirus, an official said Thursday.

It came after the Central Administration of Customs recently carried out a sample inspection of imported frozen food supplies from 140 enterprises in 50 countries as part of a broader effort to prevent imported infections during autumn and winter, said Bi Kexin, head of the administration’s food safety department.

As of Wednesday, the administration also has suspended imports from 99 companies in 20 countries that have seen cluster infections among employees, he said at a news conference held by the State Council Information Office in Beijing.

China had tested 873,475 food samples by the end of Wednesday, of which 13 tested positive for the virus, Bi said.

The administration has urged companies to strictly observe guidelines set by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation to prevent virus-related contamination from production and processing to storage and transportation, as well as rules issued by China’s health authorities, he said.

The central government on Sunday released a guideline on disinfection of frozen supplies, after a worker at a port in Tianjin tested positive for the virus.

Asia One

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