The Hong Kong Food Safety Center (CFS) has taken salmon samples from import and wholesale levels for testing as a precautionary measure after a coronavirus outbreak in the wholesale market in China, according to a Hong Kong government press release.
A group of coronavirus cases emerged in Beijing, which has been linked to the Xinfadi wholesale food market in the Chinese capital. Besides seafood, the agricultural wholesale market sells meat, fruits and vegetables.
A market official told state media Friday that traces of the virus were found in several environmental samples taken from the market, including a cutting board used to cut imported salmon, encouraging supermarkets and restaurants in the city to pull fish from their shelves and menus. The market is closed on Saturdays.
According to a press release, CFS said in light of “recent media reports that a new coronavirus was detected on the cutting board used to cut salmon during the COVID-19 case investigation in Beijing, CFS has taken immediate follow-up action to understand the incident.”
CFS also reminds people to maintain personal hygiene, food, and the environment at all times, and cook food thoroughly, according to a press statement.
The statement quoted a CFS spokesman as saying, “According to current scientific information, there is no evidence to suggest that humans can be infected by a novel corona virus through food (including aquatic products).”
The spokesman later said, “In addition, the World Health Organization and the global food safety assessment authority consider that the corona virus is unlikely to be transmitted to humans through food. However, given that raw or undercooked aquatic products are at high risk, if not mature. or lack of heat, consumption of food contaminated with bacteria or viruses can cause food poisoning. For the sake of caution, CFS has taken samples of imported salmon for testing as a precautionary measure. “
The Xinfadi market produces about 80% of Beijing’s entire agricultural supply, and 18.00 tons of vegetables and 20,000 tons of fruit are on the market every day, according to Chinese state media organization CGTN.