Frozen chicken wings from Brazil test positive for COVID-19

Illustration for article titled Frozen chicken wings from Brazil test positive for COVID-19
Photo: Isabelle Plasschaert (Getty Images)

The worldwide unfolding of COVID-19 has come with many questions, and currently the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that, thankfully, right now there is no evidence that food is a transmission vector. So that makes it all the more troubling that the municipal government of Shenzen, China has reported a shipment of frozen chicken wings from Brazil has tested positive for the virus.

Advertisement

The story, as reported by CNN, is troubling both because it seemingly contradicts statements from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) and because it’s not the first time China has reported finding food infected with COVID-19. Just this week China also reported finding COVID-19 on shrimp imported from Ecuador, and Chinese state media also reports that since July there have been a total of seven cases where the virus was found on the packaging of seafood that had been imported into the country from overseas.

There are, of course, many questions about what this means. China’s statement (as translated by Google Translate) says the virus was found on “a surface sample, which seems to suggest that it was on the food itself and not the packaging. The statement does not specify, though. Additionally, given that this news and other similar reports were released through state-sponsored media, and that the reports consistently stated the virus was found on foods imported from other countries, it’s reasonable to wonder if the news itself is politically motivated and designed to impact trade, or to make Chinese citizens question the safety of food products imported from other countries.

Advertisement

CDC and WHO guidelines, while vague, clearly state that food is unlikely to be a transmission vector, so for now we probably don’t need to worry about this. It’s certainly not good news, though, and, COVID-flavored wings are probably not the snack you’re looking for.

Jacob Dean is a food and travel writer and psychologist based in New York. He likes beer, less traveled airports, and is allergic to grasshoppers (the insect, not the mixed drink.)

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

proudhamerican
ProudHamerican

No evidence of transmission via food. OK. No evidence after we’ve looked for evidence or no evidence after we haven’t looked for evidence? There also isn’t any definitive evidence that pregnant women are in a high-risk category for severe illness due to COVID-19, but that’s because they aren’t actively studying the issue.