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China blocks poultry imports from Brazil amid COVID-19 concerns

Brazilian meat processor BRF has reported that Chinese customs suspended chicken exports from its Dourados plant due to coronavirus concerns.

30 July 2020, at 10:02am

Reuters reports that Dourados, located in Mato Grosso do Sul, is the second BRF plant that China has suspended since the coronavirus began affecting Brazilian meat plants.

BRF, Brazil's biggest chicken exporter, said in a statement on 29 July that it was not formally notified of the suspension, but learned of it via a publication on China's Customs website.

The company said it was working with Brazilian and Chinese authorities to reverse the measure.

The Brazilian agriculture ministry confirmed the suspension but did not mention the name of the company or the location of the plant affected by the move.

BRF and meatpackers including Marfrig and JBS SA, which say the novel coronavirus cannot be transmitted by food, are among companies that had exports from local plants banned by the Chinese after outbreaks in Brazil.

A total of six plants are currently banned by China, the agriculture ministry said.

BRF said Chinese agencies have carried out random tests to identify the virus in 227,900 food samples from different countries and from multiple companies.

"Nothing has been found so far," BRF said.

BRF also noted that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has adopted health and safety protocols and contingency plans in all its manufacturing units in Brazil and abroad.

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