COVID-19 on frozen chicken wings from Brazil? Customs on alert


Posted at Aug 15 2020 06:00 PM

The Bureau of Customs has confiscated a total of 775.6 kgs of meat products without permits. It is now on the lookout for poultry products from Brazil after reports that its chicken wing imports screened in China had traces of COVID-19. Bureau of Customs, Handout

MANILA - Customs officers at the Manila airport are on alert as the Department of Agriculture (DA) has imposed a ban on the entry of poultry products from Brazil. 

This, after frozen chicken wings from the Latin American country, the second hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic with over 3.1 million cases, were found to be contaminated with COVID-19 upon inspection in China.

In a statement, the Bureau of Customs said it is "strengthening border control" in all ports over the virus spread. 

It said customs officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport "are committed 24/7 to guard the country’s primary airport and its warehouses against attempts to import poultry products from Brazil in compliance [with] the latest advisory."

The ban was imposed after chicken wings imported from Brazil tested positive for COVID-19 in China, incidentally the origin of the virus.

A CNN report said the virus was detected on a surface sample taken from a batch of chicken wings screened at the Longgang district in Shenzhen, just north of Hong Kong.

The DA banned importation of poultry from Brazil on August 14, while the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources issued an advisory on seafood products from Ecuador after reports also indicated that some had tested positive for the virus. 

Experts, however, have explained that there is a low chance of contracting the highly-contagious disease from frozen food found with traces of the coronavirus.