On the afternoon of July 10, the Joint prevention and control mechanism of the State Council held a press conference.
“Novel Coronavirus nucleic acid” was tested positive in the packaging sample of frozen South American white shrimp produced by an Ecuadorean enterprise recently, said Ms. Bi Kexin, director of import and Export Food Safety Bureau of the General Administration of Customs.
The test results showed that the container environment and package of the products of three enterprises in Ecuador were at risk of being contaminated by novel Coronavirus.
This is the third shock to the seafood industry following the virus and the “salmon incident” in southern China.
According to Fan Xubing, a seafood industry veteran, South American white shrimp accounts for 80 percent of the world’s farmed prawns. Ecuador and India are big exporters to China, and the incident will directly affect the white shrimp market.
A seafood industry analyst believes that three different brands of frozen South American white shrimp packaging found problems, the most likely is the safety exposure in the processing plant.
An immunologist also told Business Daily that the infection was probably related to seafood processing or transportation in Ecuador, “which is another wake-up call for cold-chain transportation.”
Ecuadorean processing plant may be exposed
Recently, customs across the country started novel Coronavirus monitoring for imported cold chain foods.
On the afternoon of July 10, Bixin introduced that on July 3, dalian Customs detected novel Coronavirus nucleic acid positive in one sample of the inner wall of the frozen South American white shrimp container manufactured by An Ecuadorian company and in three samples of the outer packing of the frozen South American white shrimp manufactured by an Ecuadorian company.
On the same day, xiamen Customs detected novel Coronavirus nucleic acid positive in two package samples of frozen South American white shrimp produced by an Ecuadorean enterprise.
An immunologist told NBD that the infection was probably related to seafood processing or transportation in Ecuador.
Infected with basic medical college of wuhan university school of medicine, professor, doctoral supervisor of Yang qiu said that the incident and Beijing xinfadi market salmon to detect the cutting board will be coronavirus similarities, at present the results of the survey is not released, cannot determine the specific viral infections, may and transportation, may also and seafood production factory.
Baidu’s real-time big data report on coVID-19 shows that as of the evening of July 10, 2020, Ecuador had 30,100 confirmed cases, 64,200 confirmed cases, 29,200 cured cases and 4,900 died.
One seafood insider said the most likely problem detected by each of the three different brands was a safety exposure to the processing plant.
Ecuador’s economy is relatively underdeveloped, the person said, and regulations may not be in place.
These three are far more than the many processing plants Ecuador has exported to China for South American white shrimp. The current proportion is not high, but the three cases of virus detection are independent of each other, which has raised concerns.
The incident is another wake-up call for the cold chain.
The above-mentioned immunological experts believe that for imported food, the focus should be on cold and frozen food testing, conditions allow, should be appropriate external packaging disinfection treatment.
Professional personage points out, the public should pay attention to the notification and announcement of relevant departments, to avoid contact and use will be coronavirus might pollution items and packaging, but don’t worry too much about, epidemic prevention and control into the normalized phase at present, domestic will be coronavirus detection means is already very mature, despite more than on imported seafood is random, but the customs department will certainly improve the sampling rate of focus on the products.
All parts of the white shrimp market will be collectively “brake”
After experiencing two impacts of “Salmon incident” in south China seafood market and new place, the domestic seafood market is in a very difficult situation.
Not long ago, a reporter from National Business Daily visited seafood markets in seven major cities and found that merchants were experiencing a sharp decline in trading volume and serious losses.
Some people in the seafood industry believe that this may be a shock to the seafood industry.
“The salmon case is something on the chopping board. Now it’s on the packaging. If the next step is shrimp or fish, it will be even worse.”
An industry insider expressed concern for reporters.
“I think people might brake at the same time.”
After the first two shocks, seafood importers, retailers and consumers are likely to act at the same time, Fan said.
With an attitude of “err on the side of kill”, the average consumer may not dare to buy imported frozen South American white shrimp in the short term, while the importer may still be unable to sell their previous stocks, and the decision to increase import will be more cautious.
The incident may affect Ecuador’s market share in China.
The Chinese embassy in the republic of Ecuador economic and commercial counsellor’s office said in a news release at the end of April this year, the urban aquaculture association (CNA), according to data in March 1, 2020, urban shrimp exports reached $908 million, up 12% from a year earlier, China, the United States and Spain for the first three largest export destination countries, exports at $510 million, $130 million and $070 million respectively, year-on-year growth of 59.4%, 18.2% and 75% respectively.
However, since the coVID-19 outbreak began in March, the export of Prawns to Asia in the first quarter of 2020 has only increased by 1% year-on-year, far lower than the 33% growth rate in the same period last year.
“As long as the global epidemic is not completely stopped, prevention and control should not be taken lightly, customs and other authorities should further strengthen testing and epidemic prevention measures, and can also sterilize the packaging of related products.”
With regard to the products of three Ecuadorian factories found by Novel Coronavirus this time, the General Administration of Customs has decided to suspend the registration qualification of the above three enterprises in China from today, suspend the import and export of the products of the above three enterprises, and take measures such as returning and destruction of the temporarily detained goods.
Some imported seafood brands have begun to step up nucleic acid testing.
For example, The Canadian Arctic shrimp importer has been required to do nucleic acid testing and publish the report, Fan said. After that, the importer will start regular testing and provide testing reports every half a month. At the same time, the importer will remind the exporter to strengthen self-testing to ensure there is no hidden danger before export.