Imported frozen duck tongue sample tested positive for COVID-19 virus

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File photo from FEHD

A frozen duck tongue with COVID-19 virus?

Yes, this was the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced yesterday (June 10), that the CFS is actively following up on an imported frozen duck tongue sample from Poland that tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in Macao.

The CFS’s initial investigations showed that the affected batch of the product had been imported to Hong Kong.

For prudence’s sake, the spokesman urged the public not to consume the affected batch of the product concerned and to observe personal, food, and environmental hygiene. The trade should also stop using or selling the affected batch of the product immediately if they possess it.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Duck Tongues Deep Frozen
Brand: CEDROB
Place of origin: Poland
Importer: Oriental Partners Limited
Net weight: 10 kilograms
Batch code: 22/028/3018
Best-before date: July 28, 2023

A spokesman for the CFS said, “The CFS noted an announcement from the Department of Food Safety of Macao yesterday (June 9) that an imported frozen duck tongue sample from Poland tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The CFS immediately contacted the Macao authority and local importers for follow-up. Initial investigations found that Oriental Partners Limited had imported the affected batch of product.”
For the sake of prudence, the CFS has instructed the importer to stop the sale of the affected batch of the product, and initiate a recall. Members of the public may call the importer’s hotline at 2385 8005 during office hours for inquiries about the recall.

The CFS will mark and seal the affected batch of frozen duck tongues and arrange their disposal. The CFS will continue to follow up on the incident and step up a sampling of similar products for testing.

To prevent the import of the COVID-19 virus through imported frozen foods, the CFS has stepped up precautionary testing measures since mid-2020, including enhanced testing of various types of frozen foods and their packaging imported from different countries/regions, which involves taking samples at the Airport Food Inspection Offices and cold stores of importers. Up to now, over 34 000 samples of foods and their packaging have been collected for testing for the virus, and only the pomfret fish and packaging samples announced last August, the cuttlefish slice and packaging samples announced last November, the packaging samples of beef and pork skin announced this February and the packaging samples of ox offal and chicken leg announced this April was found to be positive.

The CFS will continue sampling of imported frozen foods and their packaging for testing.