More than 4,800 boxes of ice cream are found to be contaminated with Covid in China as anti-epidemic authorities scramble to contact people who could be affected
- Three samples of locally produced ice cream were found to be contaminated
- Health officials in Tianjin municipality are tracing those in contact with boxes
- 1,662 company employees have been ordered into self-isolation and have a test
Ice cream has tested positive for coronavirus in China and left health authorities scrambling to trace people at risk of infection.
Three samples of locally produced ice cream were found to be contaminated in the Tianjin municipality, in the north east of the country.
Some 4,836 boxes have been identified as contaminated by the Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Company, of which 2,089 have now been sealed in storage.
A further 1,812 was dispatched to other provinces and 935 entered the local market but only 65 were sold, according to China Daily.
Ice cream has tested positive for coronavirus in China and left health authorities scrambling to trace people at risk of infection (stock images)
Medical worker inoculates a recipient with a COVID-19 vaccine at a community healthcare center in Jizhou District of Tianjin
Shoppers who picked up one of the 450g boxes – using milk poweder from Ukraine and whey from New Zealand – were urged by health officials to record their movements so potential infections could be tracked.
The 1,662 company employees have been ordered into self-isolation and underwent testing yesterday.
Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist based at the University of Leeds, said the ice cream’s positive test likely derived from human contact and was a ‘one-off’.
He told Sky News: ‘The chances are that this is the result of an issue with the production plant and potentially down to hygiene at the factory.’
That the ice cream is made with fat and is stored at cold temperatures would make it easy for the virus to have survived, he said.
But he added: ‘We probably don’t need to panic that every bit of ice cream is suddenly going to be contaminated with coronavirus.’