China halts imports from Brazilian pork plant

China has suspended imports from a Brazilian pork plant operated by privately owned Aurora Alimentos over coronavirus concerns, according to a report from Reuters citing a statement from a meat trade group on Monday.

The Brazilian agriculture ministry said China had “requested information about COVID-19 cases at the plant,” without elaborating further.

The Brazilian Protein Association (ABPA) said it was an isolated event in the past, and that information and demonstrations of Aurora’s good practices have been shared in detail with Chinese authorities and that the company enforces strict COVID-19 protocols.

The Covid-19 pandemic has delayed import efforts in china which is working to restore its pig herd following recent ASF outbreaks.

The country has had to intensify shipment checks and ban produce from some factories in various countries after discovering the novel coronavirus on imported cold-chain products and packaging.

The Aurora plant affected by the latest suspension is in the town of Chapecó, Santa Catarina state, ABPA said. China has also issued similar suspensions against other Brazil-based meatpackers including JBS SA and BRF SA, although some of the bans have been already lifted.

ABPA reiterated that there is no scientific evidence of the risk of contamination by the novel coronavirus through food consumption.

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