Increased Covid inspections for cold chain and fresh foods

China Customs suspended three exporters on Monday after detecting coronavirus on imported cold chain seafood. The Customs agency said they had also conducted video inspections with the firms and found they were not complying with relevant regulations.  

Even non-cold chain products are coming under increased scrutiny after health officials in Hainan linked the current major outbreak to a fisherman who may have interacted with foreign fishermen while at sea.  

News photos of health workers swabbing the mouths of fish in Xiamen went viral this week as internet users questioned the rationale behind performing Covid tests on fish.  

Health experts noted that there is a risk that fisherman at sea could barter or illegally trade fish with boats from other countries with Covid outbreaks and that testing the surface of fish was a precautionary measure, although they noted mouth swabs were unnecessary as fish cannot contract Covid.  

Despite the small risk this poses, changes are unlikely as officials across the country continue to struggle with the recent wave of Covid infections.  

On Thursday, Shenzhen announced that its centralized warehousing system for imported cold chain products had now been in operation for two years. During this time, they had cleared 59k containers and 1.6 million tons of frozen goods.  

They also noted that during this time they conducted 2.6 million PCR tests on imported goods which had returned 317 positive samples, putting the positivity rate at 0.01%.