Do not fear transmission through food: the World Health Organization (MOS) wanted to be reassuring on Thursday after China announced that it had discovered the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease on food imported.
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“We don’t think the coronavirus can be transmitted through food … If we understood correctly, China looks for the virus on packaging, has tested hundreds of thousands of them and found very few, less than one. ten positive, ”explained scientist Maria Van Kerkhove.
However, “we know that it can stay on the surfaces for a while” and “we have given instructions, with the FAO [Organisation des Nations unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture], on food handling and work ”in the food sector so that workers are safe in their work environment, added the head of the Emerging Diseases Unit at WHO.
“Our food, when it comes to COVID, is safe”; “There is no evidence that food or food chains participate in the transmission of the virus,” he said, recalling the usual precautions (“washing hands”, “cooking food “).
“We must not inflate this type of information,” he still pleaded. “People are afraid enough of the pandemic already.”
Chinese authorities announced Thursday that they had found a trace of the virus, during a routine check, on samples of frozen chicken wings taken Tuesday, but also on packages of shrimp from Ecuador.