Even though Wuhan, China–what was reported to be the epicenter of the Coronavirus–is getting back to normal with concerts, large scale parties and “normal” life like it was before the pandemic, disease control centers in China have just found frozen chicken wings that tested positive for the Coronavirus, according to Reuters.
Officials didn’t share which brand of wings were positive, but they did state that the shipment came from Brazil, which has the second-highest rate of COVID-19 infection in the world. Brazil currently has 3.4 million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. The country’s case numbers are only behind those of the United States, which has 5.4 million confirmed cases at press time.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: Oh no! Not the chicken wings! But sadly, it’s true. Buffalo sauce, blue cheese, or even lemon pepper belong on chicken wings, but not the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Fears first started coming in about the imported frozen food when the virus was found on a chopping board in Beijing’s Xinfadi wholesale market in June. The vendor had used the board to handle imported salmon. By the way, that’s another issue with mixing poultry and seafood using the same kitchen tools. But that’s a story for another time.
Austin Hu, the chef at high-end Shanghai restaurant Heritage by Madison, said they experienced delays in receiving live seafood like oysters after the incident as authorities stepped up checks, adding that consumer confidence had been affected.
“It has been more difficult, I mean especially seafood we are talking about, since the incidents with shrimps and incidents with salmon,” he said.
So, all that to say, should we be worried?
According to America’s Family Physician, Dr. Jen Caudle, “you have to remember how COVID-19 is spread. It’s usually spread through person to person contact.”
While it is possible that if someone touches something that has coronavirus on it and touches their own face, mouth or eyes they could possibly get infected, but that’s not the primary way that it is spread.
In addition, you’ve got to have enough of the SARS-CoV2 around, enough to constitute an infectious dose of the virus, to cause an infection. A positive test simply means that virus genetic material has been found and says nothing about the amount of virus present.
Plus, detecting genetic material from the virus is not the same as detecting the live virus. Only fragments of the virus may be present. So far, authorities haven’t found any evidence of humans getting infected from the chicken wings in Shenzen.
Now, these COVID-19 wings were actually exported from Brazil to China. But if you think you’re safe from that because you get your chicken from your local grocery store, think again.
We reported back in 2016 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the green-light to four chicken processing plants in China, allowing for