Salmon has been linked to the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Beijing, leading to what reports have dubbed a ‘national boycott’ of the fish.
There have been more than 100 new cases of infections being detected in the city in recent days, with reports saying the virus has been traced to a chopping board used by a salmon seller at a major market.
Now health experts in the country have reportedly told people not to eat the fish, and major supermarkets, as well as online retailers, have removed the product from sale. Some areas are testing seafood at local markets for the virus – though reports say it is ‘unclear’ whether the virus can be transmitted via frozen and thawed food.
According to Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist of China’s Center for Diseases Prevention and Control, the two possibilities for the new cases are contaminated items being brought to Beijing, or infected people entering Beijing. He clarified that if frozen food is infected with the virus, it can ‘survive on these surfaces for two to three months’.
Zunyou added: “I want to clarify that it is not completely determined that it is food. It is only highly suspected that there is the greatest possibility of contamination, but further investigation is needed. Try not to buy imported agricultural products or frozen food as much as possible. They must be cooked and cannot be eaten raw.
“At the same time, when handling these raw foods, we must pay attention to hand hygiene. For vegetables, in general, it will not cause the problem of infection caused by pollution, because most vegetables are produced locally or in the surrounding areas without causing pollution.”