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Covid-19 tainted milk cargo from Hong Kong destroyed

Municipal Affairs Bureau staff to step up inspections and safety procedures following detection of virus on wrapping of 60 refrigerated milk boxes.

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Municipal Affairs Bureau staff to step up inspections and safety procedures following detection of virus on wrapping of 60 refrigerated milk boxes.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

A cargo of refrigerated milk imported from Hong Kong whose wrapping tested positive for Covid-19 has been destroyed.

The Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) announced that the virus was detected during a routine inspection and testing of imported food products in Pier 6A2 on Monday.

The bureau obtained positive results from a Covid-19 nucleic acid test (NAT) on a sample of plastic wrapping film on the “external packaging of a batch of 60 boxes of refrigerated milk weighing 720 kilogrammes”. 

The bureau pointed out that a contingency plan was immediately undertaken in addition to measures such as tracing and further investigation and re-testing. The products have been “sealed and destroyed and have not entered the market”.

The bureau’s follow-up measures were taken in-line with the contingency plan, with the cold storage warehouse being temporarily closed and the cold-chain products concerned being sealed.

The bureau has also arranged for the disinfection of the environment as well as sending staff for nucleic acid re-tests. The bureau emphasised that communication was also carried out with the sector to handle the issue and destroy the products together to “reduce the risk of the contaminated food products entering the market”. Information on those who have come into contact with the products was also provided to health authorities for further investigation and follow-up.

The bureau added that the cleaning and disinfection of fruit and cold-chain food products’ external packaging of products imported from overseas will be enhanced, while also increasing “the number of samples collected for random testing” for the “thorough disinfection of external packaging and thorough testing of inner packaging”.

On average, the external packaging of around 100,00 boxes of refrigerated food is disinfected each week. Last year, a total of “65,000 environmental samples and samples of imported cold-chain food products and fruit”, among others, have undergone nucleic acid tests, The Macau Post Daily reported.

Staff involved in cold-chain food product processing must take a test once every 48 hours to enhance “disease prevention measures regarding cold-chain products”, the bureau underlined. 

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

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