SINGAPORE — While news from China that the COVID-19 coronavirus had been detected in frozen food imported from two South American countries might have caused some concerns here, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) says there is nothing to worry about.
“Presently, we are not aware of any evidence that suggests that the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted to humans via food or food packaging and equipment,” said the agency on Friday (14 August) in reply to queries from Yahoo News Singapore.
SFA added that its position is “in line with the current state of knowledge across scientific communities and public health authorities worldwide”.
On Thursday, media reports cited claims from Chinese authorities that traces of the novel coronavirus had been found in samples taken from the surface of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil, as well as from the packaging of frozen shrimp imported from Ecuador.
The SFA said it is monitoring developments closely and will take necessary steps to safeguard food safety in Singapore.
Given that contact with food or food packaging and equipment is no different from contact with other everyday items – all of which can be easily contaminated by the coronavirus – it is thus important to maintain good public and personal hygiene practices, said SFA.
The statement by the SFA comes after the World Health Organisation said it saw no evidence of the coronavirus being spread by food or packaging and urged people not to be afraid of the virus entering the food chain.
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