Proper food handling urged after China findings of tainted imports
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reminded the public to observe proper food handling practices after packages of seafood from South America that also passed through a port in China were found tainted with the new coronavirus.
In a statement on Friday, BFAR said that while there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food as per statements from the World Health Organization, consumers should still follow precautionary measures.
“As advised by the Department of Health, goods bought from the market must be disinfected with alcohol or 0.5 percent bleach solution, while fresh food must be washed with clean, running water before storage,” it said.
“Food must also be cooked thoroughly and kept at safe temperatures before consumption,” it added.
According to international news reports, the tainted seafood came from Ecuador and arrived at the port city of Yantai, China. A sample of frozen chicken from Brazil also tested positive for the virus.
Asked whether there are food items that arrived in the Philippines found contaminated by the virus, both the BFAR and the Bureau of Customs said there is currently no available technology in the country to determine that.
Assistant Customs Commissioner Vincent Maronilla said his office has not received any advisory from the Department of Health or the Department of Agriculture warning of the possible entry of COVID-19 through food items. —Karl R. Ocampo
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