More food packaging tests positive for COVID-19: IAM

2022-07-04 03:32     BY Rui Pastorin    Comment:0

The Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) announced in separate statements on Saturday that samples of the external packaging of two more food products tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, neither of which, however, entered the retail market.

Thorough disinfection of the areas where the items were kept have been carried out, while information on those who came in contact with the products were submitted to the health authorities for investigation and follow up.

Both statements urged businesses to enhance the cleaning and disinfection of the external packaging of imported food products, as well as for members of the public to wash their hands frequently.

More mangoes test positive for COVID-19

The bureau announced that the external packaging of a batch of mangoes imported from Taiwan were sealed and are to be destroyed after samples collected from their external packaging tested positive for COVID-19 during nucleic acid tests (NATs), marking the second time in three days that mangoes imported from the island tested positive for the virus.

The affected products involved five boxes weighing 50 kilogrammes and have not entered the market, the statement pointed out, adding that import applications for the brand concerned have been suspended for one week since Friday.

The statement emphasised that the bureau “has always referenced the national technical standards regarding sample testing of cold-chain food products” when submitted to nucleic acid tests. Moreover, the bureau said that it strictly implemented “thorough disinfection of the external packaging and thorough testing of the internal packaging” of goods. The external and internal packaging of cold-chain and dairy products imported from Argentina, Indonesia, Poland, Vietnam and Hong Kong have so far tested positive for the virus.

The bureau pointed out that it has continued to enhance the cleaning and disinfection of imported cold-chain food products and fruit’s external packaging since the current COVID-19 outbreak, averaging at around 100,000 boxes of goods disinfected per week. The number of samples collected from food for inspection and testing has also increased, with around 55,000 samples collected and tested since January, the statement added.

Those involved in the cold-chain food trade, the statement said, must also be tested for COVID-19 once every 48 hours in line with the Health Bureau’s (SSM) pandemic prevention guidelines.

Frozen beef tripe’s packaging tests positive for virus

The bureau also said that samples from the external packaging of a batch of frozen beef tripe imported from Argentina via Hong Kong also tested positive for COVID-19 during nucleic acid tests.

The affected products include 60 boxes weighing 605 kilogrammes, which were also sealed and set to be destroyed, the statement noted. Moreover, the bureau has suspended product import applications from the processing plant for one week, which also started on Friday. 

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