Chicken Wings With Traces of COVID Reignite Questions About Food Borne Transmission Risks

Daily Life In Dalian Amid The Coronavirus Outbreak

Officials in China’s southern metropolis Shenzhen reported Thursday they had found traces of COVID-19 on a batch of chicken wings imported from South America. Media reports soon claimed chicken wings had “tested positive” for coronavirus, stoking fears the virus has found its way into the world’s food supply. However, the World Health Organization says that’s not a concern.

“We have no examples of where this virus has been transmitted as a food-borne [disease], where someone has consumed a food product [and become infected],” WHO head of emerging diseases unit Maria van Kerkhove said during a regular press briefing Thursday.

Although COVID-19 is a zoonotic virus, meaning it originated in an animal before transferring to humans, it likely didn’t do so through consumption. As Van Kerkhove points out, if the virus was in our meat supply it would be killed when the meat is cooked. Raw food, like sushi or even runny eggs, poses more of a risk, but so far the virus has not been found inside those products.

The original outbreak of COVID-19 at a market in Wuhan more likely occurred because humans had close contact with both live and dead animals and didn’t take proper hygiene precautions, such as washing their hands.

Still, a recent flurry of incidents connecting coronavirus outbreaks with food markets has caused concern. In June Beijing shut down a seafood market after a cluster of COVID-19 cases were traced to one of the stalls there. Officials speculated the virus had been imported along with fish from Europe, prompting a sudden boycott of Norwegian salmon.

This week, New Zealand reinstated a nationwide lockdown after a COVID-19 cluster emerged in Auckland. The island country had gone 102 days without a single local transmission case before the cluster emerged. Local authorities are investigating whether the virus could have been imported along with frozen food since one of the patients worked at a cold storage unit.


Chinese officials also suspended meat imports from three Ecuadorean companies this week after COVID-19 was found on packages of frozen prawns. Samples taken from inside the packages and from the prawns themselves tested negative for coronavirus.

“The results show that the container and the packaging of these companies are under the risk of becoming contaminated by the novel coronavirus. Experts said that while this does not mean they can transmit the virus, it shows that the management of food safety is not ideal,” Bi Kexin, director general of China’s Import and Export Food Safety Bureau, said about the suspect prawn imports.

In the case of the Shenzhen chicken wings, too, COVID-19 was found only on the surface of the chicken and the packaging of the meat—not inside the chicken itself……

Read More: Fortune


Madonna’s Instagram Post Flagged For Sharing Coronavirus Misinformation



A controversial video featuring a doctor falsely claiming that “hydroxychloroquine cures Covid” was shared by Madonna, prompting Instagram to flag the post as “false information” hours after parent company Facebook took steps to scrub the viral clip from the platform.

The video features Houston-based doctor Stella Immanuel, claiming that she had treated 350 coronavirus patients using the antimalarial drug and that “none of them had died,” alongside a group identifying as “America’s Frontline Doctors” in front of the Supreme Court.

Immanuel claimed several times that hydroxychloroquine is a “cure” for Covid, despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health that the drug should not be used as a treatment for coronavirus.

Madonna posted a version to her Instagram feed, alongside a caption that read: “The truth will set us all Free! But some people don’t want to hear the truth.”Instagram blurred the post and labeled it “false information,” adding that the information had been “reviewed by independent fact-checkers.”

Posts flagged as “false” by Instagram are less visible in users’ feeds, stories, hashtags and Explore page, according to Instagram.

Big number

Madonna has 15.4 million followers on Instagram.


In March, Madonna addressed her Instagram followers from her bathtub, calling coronavirus “the great equalizer,” and previously claimed she was immune from the virus after testing positive for coronavirus antibodies.

News peg

The clip was viewed 17 million times within less than 12 hours on Breitbart’s Facebook page. A version was even retweeted by President Trump and Donald Trump Jr., before being taken down from Facebook on Monday for “sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19.” YouTube and Twitter also attempted to take down versions of the video circulating online..

Key background

Immanuel describes herself as a “Deliverance Minister,” whose extreme and bizarre views have gone as far as claiming that alien DNA is used in medical treatments. At a press conference on Tuesday, Trump, who has previously touted and used hydroxychloroquine, called Immanuel “very impressive”. “I thought her voice was an important voice, but I know nothing about her,” he said, before making an abrupt exit moments later.

Further reading

Facebook Takes Down Viral Video Making False Claim That ‘Hydroxychloroquine Cures Covid’ (Forbes)

Trump Shares Messages Calling Dr. Fauci A ‘Fraud,’ Promoting Hydroxychloroquine (Forbes)

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

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I am a breaking news reporter for Forbes in London, covering Europe and the U.S. Previously I was a news reporter for HuffPost UK, the Press Association and a night reporter at the Guardian. I studied Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, where I was a writer and editor for one of the university’s global affairs magazines, the London Globalist. That led me to Goldsmiths, University of London, where I completed my M.A. in Journalism. Got a story? Get in touch at, or follow me on Twitter @bissieness. I look forward to hearing from you.



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