Ice cream from Tianjin municipality in northern China has been detected to be contaminated with the novel coronavirus.
Food inspectors recently found traces of the virus in three samples of ice cream flavors produced by the Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Co., as per Tianjin authorities via Sky News yesterday, Jan. 15.
All the products from the said company have been contained, and anti-epidemic authorities are now tracing people who may have been in contact with the ice cream batches.
The company’s 1,662 employees have, meanwhile, been placed in quarantine and have undergone testing following COVID-19 protocols from the Tianjin Center for Disease Control.
Local authorities disclosed that 4,863 boxes of contaminated ice cream were produced, while 2,089 have since been sealed following the inspection.
A total of 2,747 boxes entered the market, 935 of which were in Tianjin, while 65 boxes were sold to markets, the report said. Authorities have also notified other provinces where the other ice cream batches went to.
‘No need to panic’
In an interview with the British news outlet, Dr. Stephen Griffin, a virologist from the University of Leeds, said that it should not be cause for panic.
“It’s likely this has come from a person, and without knowing the details, I think this is probably a one-off,” he was quoted as saying.
While he noted that any level of contamination is unacceptable, he stated that this is likely “the result of an issue with the production plant and potentially down to hygiene at the factory.”
“We probably don’t need to panic that every bit of ice cream is suddenly going to be contaminated with coronavirus,” he was quoted as saying.
He also explained that the cold temperature of the ice cream storage and the existence of fat in ice cream itself could explain why the novel coronavirus survived on samples that were tested.