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China halts shrimp imports from Ecuador

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

China has suspended imports from three Ecuadorean shrimp producers after detecting coronavirus in recent shipment. China’s customs authority said samples from shipments were positive but tests on frozen shrimp and inner packaging were negative.

The Ecuadorean government, through the Ministry of production, foreign trade, investments and fisheries, said that “Ecuadorian export products, and in particular those of the food segment, follow all biosafety protocols, both national and international regulations, which is why shipments from our country to different markets around the world have been maintained, even during the global pandemic.” The ministry also said that the detection of traces of coronavirus RNA in the inner wall of a container and in external packaging of exported shrimp do not constitute a risk of contagion.

China began testing imported fresh and frozen food after the coronavirus was found on a chopping board used to cut salmon at a large food market in Beijing during an outbreak of the coronavirus. Salmon was pulled from retail shelves in June but officials in China and Norway later concluded that imported salmon was not the source.

Related: Ecuador partners with China for shrimp biosecurity

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