BEIJING, Nov 11 (Reuters) – The Chinese port city of Dalian has ordered all companies processing imported refrigerated and frozen food to suspend operations after a COVID-19 outbreak that began last week.
The city on China’s northeast coast has reported more than 80 cases of COVID-19 in the past week, with the first in a warehouse worker in the city’s Zhuanghe area on Nov. 4.
Local authorities issued the order Monday, the state-backed Global Times newspaper reported Thursday.
Unlike other countries, China says frozen foods pose a risk of spreading COVID-19 and authorities will refuse goods from abroad if the virus is found on packaging, even though the World Health Organization says neither food nor packaging has a known transmission route is.
Dalian is a leading port for seafood, fruits and some meats.
The suspension affects outside cold storage facilities, bonded warehouses, food production plants and cold stores used by the hospitality industry, according to a report on local industry websites that could not be verified by Reuters.
Dalian’s food sector also faced severe disruption last year after authorities issued new cold store requirements over the risk of coronavirus entering the country on imported food.
Reporting by Dominique Patton Editing by David Goodman
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