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Coronavirus: China’s freeze on imported salmon stirs concern about wider impact on European food trade by Finbarr Bermingham, Orange Wang and Keegan Elmer in Beijing June 18,2020   |  Source: SCMP

Seafood traders in China are bracing for a “psychological blow to consumption” and the possibility of wider disruption to imported proteins after Beijing halted shipments of European salmon amid fears it may be the source of a new coronavirus outbreak.

Shipments were frozen after the virus was discovered on chopping boards used for imported salmon at Beijing’s Xinfadi market, which has been linked to a new cluster of infections in the capital. Experts, however, have said salmon was unlikely to carry the disease.

While a European Commission spokesman said “there is no formal ban or import restriction in place”, traders have confirmed Beijing has stopped imports of all fresh products. European exporters are now anxiously waiting for clarification.

“We have not had contact with local authorities. Our understanding is that the current situation is causing some logistical implications for fresh salmon to the market,” said Victoria Braathen, China director at the Norwegian Seafood Council.

“We are monitoring the development in the market closely. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is clear that the coronavirus does not affect seafood safety as there are no known cases of infection via contaminated food, imported food or water.”

Nonetheless, salmon,


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