Coronavirus detected on a chopping board for imported salmon in Beijing, China – so supermarkets have stopped selling it

Owen Evans, Aslak Berge

Major supermarkets and food markets pull fish. Beijing airport was also closed for salmon flights.

Global Times reports that on Friday six major wholesale markets in the Chinese capital of Beijing have been suspended, or have partially suspended, operations.

This followed two new COVID-19 a day after the city – which has 20 million residents – reported its “first domestically transmitted case in eight weeks, raising concerns of a possible resurgence of the coronavirus in the Chinese capital city,” the publication wrote.

Chopping board
Authorities have claimed that coronavirus was detected on a chopping board for imported salmon at Xinfadi market. The imported salmon was from Jingshen seafood market, which was also shut down on Friday.

Other food industries are affected such as the beef and lamb trade centre of wholesaler Xinfadi Market and Jingshen sea food market in Fengtai District were closed because one positive case had visited there.

Carrefour and Wumart
In an updated article, Global Times reports that the news is putting off Beijing residents from consuming salmon from sushi stores. The Chaoshifa Market in Beijing said it had stopped selling salmon at its 52 branches in the city. Eighty percent of its branches sold salmon imported from Norway.

Major supermarkets in Beijing including Carrefour and Wumart have stopped selling salmon. Alibaba’s Hema Fresh supermarket had also pulled the fish.

There is currently no evidence that food is a source of coronavirus (COVID-19) and it is very unlikely it can be transmitted through the consumption of food, according to EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).

In SalmonBusiness’ last price story, one trader said that “the market has announced that prices are too high. Airlines stopped, China stopped and Europe followed.”

According to several industry sources on Friday, this publication has learnt that Beijing airport was closed for salmon flights.

Norway held a 45 percent market share of fresh salmon to China from January to April 2020, according to the latest statistics from the Norwegian Seafood Council. China is the 3rd largest market for Scottish salmon valued at GBP 43 million (12 months to March 2020).

Wu Hao, the head of the Fangzhuang community health service centre in Fengtai district and a professor at Capital Medical University told Global Times that:”residents should not put their guards down as “what could result in another outbreak is people’s neglect of personal protections.”


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