Philippines suspends poultry imports from Brazil on COVID-19 worries

The Philippines has issued a temporary ban on poultry meat imports from Brazil on 14 August after two cities in China found traces of the novel coronavirus on imported chicken wings.
calendar icon 17 August 2020
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Reuters reports that COVID-19 was detected in cargoes of imported frozen food and chicken wings from Brazil.

Chinese authorities traced the chicken to a plant owned by Aurora, Brazil’s third-largest poultry and pork exporter.

Brazil has the world’s second-worst coronavirus outbreak, reporting more than 3.2 million cases and more than 105,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

“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.

The Filipino Department of Agriculture did not stipulate how long the ban would be enforced. Brazil currently accounts for nearly 20 percent of the country’s poultry meat imports.

Aurora said it had not been formally notified by the Chinese authorities of the alleged contamination. The company said that it takes all possible measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that there is no evidence that the novel coronavirus is spread through food. Brazil’s agriculture ministry is seeking clarification from Chinese authorities on the situation.

Back in the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture assured the public that chicken products currently in the local market were safe to consume.

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