The former Portuguese colony of Macau in China has suspended the import of Brazilian frozen meat after a batch tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in Hong Kong.
Sanitary and food authorities in Macau have been testing samples from packages of beef from Brazil and pork from Poland, since July 2020, all of which so far resulted negative for coronavirus which triggered Covid-19 pandemic.
However the Center for Food Safety in neighboring Hong Kong announced that three samples of beef from Brazil and one sample of pork from Poland had tested positive for the presence of SARS-CoV-2.
The HK Center ordered the elimination of the entire batch and the disinfection of the warehouses where the meat was located, and on February 14, Macau Customs announced the arrest of two men, accused of smuggling ten tons of frozen meat.
Sanitary and Food controls were reinforced to combat the illegal entry of people and goods, “preventing the introduction of the coronavirus into Macau through illegal activities”, indicated authorities.
Chinese state media have regularly reported fines imposed on traders who illegally imported frozen meat.
On January 4, Chinese police imposed a ten-day detention sentence on two traders in a city in the southwest of the country, accused of failing to submit a batch of chicken legs sent from Brazil to health checks.
The Chinese government said that the recent outbreaks of the Ómicron variant of covid-19 in the country are due, in part, to products from abroad. However, foreign experts have stressed that the virus is mainly spread through respiratory droplets, when infected people breathe, talk, cough and sneeze.