Wrapping film of product’s external packaging tests positive for novel coronavirus

Publish Date: 01/03/2022

A sample of the wrapping film of the external packaging of a batch of refrigerated milk apportioned and imported from Hong Kong has tested positive for the novel coronavirus nucleic acid during the stage of routine inspection and testing of imported food products by the Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM). IAM has immediately initiated the contingency plan and has taken measures such as tracing and investigation, re-testing, etc. All the products concerned have been sealed and destroyed, and have not entered the market.

During routine inspection and testing of imported food products carried out in Pier 6A2 last night (February 28), IAM got a positive result from a novel coronavirus nucleic acid test carried out on a sample of plastic wrapping film of the external packaging of a batch of 60 boxes of refrigerated milk weighing 720 kilogrammes. The pallet of products were apportioned and imported from Hong Kong. IAM has taken follow-up measures according to the contingency plan, and has temporarily enclosed the cold storage warehouse and sealed the cold-chain products concerned. IAM has also arranged for the environment to be disinfected and sent staff to carry out re-inspections and re-testing. IAM has communicated with the sector to jointly handle the issue and destroy the products concerned, so as to reduce the risk of the contaminated food products entering the market. Meanwhile, information about individuals who have come into contact with the products has been provided to the health authorities for investigation and follow-up.

IAM will strengthen the cleaning and disinfection of external packaging of fruit and cold-chain food products imported from abroad and increase the number of samples collected for random testing to strictly implement “thorough disinfection of external packaging and thorough testing of inner packaging”. Currently, the external packaging of about 100,000 boxes of refrigerated food are disinfected on average each week. A total of 65,000 environmental samples and samples of imported cold-chain food products and fruit, etc. have undergone testing for virus nucleic acid in 2021. Furthermore, staff engaged in the processing of cold-chain food products are required to undergo novel coronavirus nucleic acid testing once every 48 hours to strengthen disease prevention measures regarding cold-chain products.