Brazil chicken imports banned over Covid-19 scare

THE Philippines imposed a temporary ban on poultry meat imports from Brazil after two cities in China found traces of the new coronavirus in cargoes of imported frozen food, including chicken wings from the South American country.

Shenzhen city authorities identified the chicken as originating from a plant owned by Aurora, Brazil’s third-largest poultry and pork exporter.

Brazil has the world’s second-worst Covid-19 outbreak after the United States, recording more than 3.2 million cases and more than 105,000 deaths since the pandemic began.

“With the recent reports from China and in compliance with the country’s Food Safety Act to regulate food business operators and safeguard Filipino consumers, the temporary ban on the import of chicken meat is imposed, ” the Department of Agriculture said in a statement.

It did not say how long the ban would be enforced. Brazil accounts for around 20% of the Philippines’ poultry meat imports.

Aurora, which is unlisted, said it had not been formally notified by the Chinese authorities of the alleged contamination. The company said it takes all possible measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and there is no evidence it is spread through food.

Brazil’s agriculture ministry said it was seeking clarification from Chinese authorities. — Reuters

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