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Can food have COVID-19 on it? Why experts are watching shrimp, salmon

China says imported shrimp carried the coronavirus

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Dry shrimps is displayed for sale at a fish market in Mexico City, Thursday, April 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Dry shrimps is displayed for sale at a fish market in Mexico City, Thursday, April 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

AP

Samples of imported shrimp carried the novel coronavirus, raising questions about whether COVID-19 can spread through food and frozen products, Bloomberg reports.

China’s General Administration of Customs said COVID-19 was found inside and outside shrimp packaging, per Bloomberg. The samples came from three different plants. Imports were stopped immediately.

“The test result doesn’t mean the virus is contagious, but reflects the loopholes in companies’ food safety regulations,” Bi Kexin, director of the food import and export safety bureau for the department, told Bloomberg. “Customs will further strengthen control of the origins of imported cold-chain food.”

According to The New York Times, China has tied an outbreak in Beijing to important salmon, too.

Salmon was removed from the major supermarkets in Beijing. Fish reserves were dumped, too.

“Diners rushed to cancel reservations at Japanese restaurants in the capital, while salmon suppliers around the world scrambled to salvage the tarnished reputation of their prized product in the country,” according to The New York Times.

In the United States, there have been concerns about working in the fish and seafood industry because of the coronavirus pandemic, NPR reports.

In fact, American Seafoods confirmed 92 crew members from its American Dynasty ship — a fish processing factory — had COVID-19, a sign the industry is not immune, either, according to NPR:

“As America’s meat producers confronted thousands of COVID-19 cases, Pacific Northwest seafood companies drafted rigorous plans to ward off similar spread of the disease in an industry where processors also work in close quarters.”