ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Tyson Foods is investigating reports that Chinese customs officials suspended imports of poultry from a Tyson facility in the United States after coronavirus cases were confirmed among its employees.
A Tyson spokesperson said on Sunday that the plant in question is located in Springdale, Arkansas.
“At Tyson, our top priority is the health and safety of our team members, and we work closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food safety and inspection service to ensure that we produce all of our food in full compliance with government safety requirements , “spokesman Gary Mickelson wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
He added that all global and U.S. health organizations agree that there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission related to food.
The Sunday announcement from China did not provide details of the amount of meat affected.
On Friday, Tyson Foods announced the results of coronavirus testing at its sites in Benton and Washington counties, saying that a majority of employees who eventually tested positive for the virus showed no symptoms. Of the 3,748 workers tested, 481 were positive for COVID-19 and 455 were asymptomatic.
On June 11, Tyson announced that 199 of the 1102 workers tested positive, and only one of the workers who tested positive showed symptoms. The other 198 subjects who tested positive showed no symptoms, according to Tyson. Those cases were in addition to the 48 positive cases identified in the same facility by the Arkansas Department of Health or when seeking care through their own health care providers.
There have been several other COVID-19 outbreaks in Tyson factories in the United States, including in North Carolina, Nebraska and Iowa.
In November, China lifted a five-year ban on American poultry. China had blocked poultry imports to the United States a month after an outbreak of avian influenza in December 2014, closing a market that yielded more than $ 500 million worth of American chicken, turkey and other poultry products in 2013.
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