China meat association calls for exporters to disinfect shipments to prevent COVID-19

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BEIJING (Reuters) -Chinese meat importers and processors have called on exporters in countries with COVID-19 outbreaks to step up checks on shipments before they are sent to the world’s biggest market, China’s top industry group said.

“China has been importing a large quantity of meats this year, and has detected virus on the packaging of cold chain products many times, even as lots of disinfection has been done domestically,” Gao Guan, spokesman for the China Meat Association, said on Tuesday.

It would be better to handle virus control at the point of origins and carry out disinfection at production plants as the cost would be lower and efficiency higher, Gao said.

China has ramped up disinfection and virus testing on frozen food after it found coronavirus on imported products and packaging.

The measures have pushed up costs, disrupted trade, and irritated major exporters.

The semi-official industry body suggested exporters in COVID-19 hit countries should disinfect the outer packaging of products and the inner side of containers before sealing export products, the association said in a weekend statement.

The initiative was proposed to “ensure the safety of imported cold-chain food and boost consumers’ confidence in imported cold-chain products,” it said.
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