BEIJING - Suspending imports from three Ecuadorean shrimp producers as they detected COVID-19 in recent shipments on Friday, now China faces an accusation of tarnishing the reputation of the industry from one of the Ecuadorean seafood producers.

According to the customs authority of China, based on the samples from shipments from Empacreci SA, Empacadora Del Pacifico Sociedad Anonima, and Pesquera Santa Priscila SA six positive results were detected while the tests on the shrimps that were frozen and with inner packaging were negative, Reuters reported.

Since Beijing started to test its imported frozen foods, it is the first time that their findings had positive results due to the presence of the virus.

On the website of the General Administration of Customs, they stated that the test results suggested that the container environment and the outer packaging of the goods that the three companies delivered were at risk of contamination aside from the fact that the companies' food safety management system was not in order.

Out of the three Ecuadorean companies accused by the said contamination, two of the companies involved made their sharply worded statements, emphasizing that the said virus was found only within the exterior part of the container, they also added that China was exaggerating the potential risks that the products may cause.

In the statement of Santiago Salem, the President of the Santa Priscila he mentioned that it is regrettable that with the result of the virus found ' inside the wall of the container' China is tarnishing the reputation of the shrimp industry of Ecuador.

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According to Bloomberg, during an outbreak of the COVID-19 among workers in their country, coronavirus was detected on a chopping board used to cut salmon at a large food market in Beijing prompting the Chinese officials to start their testing on the imported fresh and frozen foods as well.

And because of the said detection, Chinese buyers cut the importation of salmon as the fish has been removed from supermarket shelves across the area.

In charge of food imports at the customs authority, Bi Kexin shared with the reporters on their Friday briefing that up to that date there had been a total of 227,934 samples taken already and that includes samples from the food products packaging and environmental samples.

The detected positive results from the imported shrimps of the said three companies were picked up on July 3 from cargoes at the Xiamen and Dalian ports.

The minister of production and foreign trade of Ecuador, Ivan Ontaneda who is also in charge of overseeing the fishing industry stated that the shrimp producers in their country abide by the biosecurity protocols that they have implemented to ensure the quality of their imported products.

Despite the statements issued by the companies of Santa Priscila SA, Empacreci SA, and Empacadora Del Pacifico Sociedad Anonima Pesquera and Ecuador's minister of production and foreign trade, the customs authority of China still ordered that shrimps produced by the said companies after March 12 and already imported into China should be recalled or destroyed.

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