Philippines temporarily bans chicken imports from Brazil

The Philippines has imposed a temporary ban on poultry meat from Brazil amid reports that frozen chicken wings from the country tested positive for the coronavirus.

Health officials in Shenzhen earlier reported that a sample of frozen chicken wings transported from Brazil to China tested positive for COVID-19.

Experts, so far, have not found evidence that people can get COVID-19, a respiratory disease, from food.

The Philippines' Department of Agriculture (DA) on Friday, August 14, said the move was a "precautionary measure."

The DA based the decision on Republic Act No. 10611 or the Food Safety Act of 2013, which says "in specific circumstances when the available relevant information use for in risk assessment is insufficient to show that a certain type of food or food product does not pose a risk to consumer health, precautionary measures shall be adopted."

The World Health Organization has reported over 3.1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil and at least 104,201 deaths, with a significant number of cases among workers in meat establishments.

The DA said workers engaged in meat establishments, poultry dressing plants, slaughterhouses, and meat processing plants are required to report to the Department of Health for any unusual sicknesses.

Poultry farm and slaughterhouse owners should also consult licensed veterinarians for farm biosafety and biosecurity measures. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.