Ice cream made in China tested positive for COVID-19

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  • An ice cream produced in northern China was found to be contaminated with coronavirus
  • Three samples tested positive for COVID following a routine government inspection
  • All the employees are now undergoing quarantine and the ice cream were being traced for confiscation

An ice cream brand produced by a company in northern China has been found to be contaminated with coronavirus following a routine government inspection recently.

The ice cream, made by Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Co., Ltd. in Tianjin municipality, were found to be infected with COVID-19 after three of its samples sent to the local centre for disease control tested positive for the virus last week.

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Initial investigation by epidemiologists revealed that the company had produced the affected batch of ice cream using milk powder from New Zealand and whey powder that came from Ukraine.

Local officials believe a total of 4,836 boxes of the ice cream have been infected with more than half of them already distributed for sale in the market. So far, only 2,089 boxes were confiscated for proper disposal by the authorities.

Meanwhile, all the 1,662 employees of Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Co., Ltd. have been placed under strict quarantine after the test results came back and were being subjected to nucleic acid testing.

As of Thursday afternoon, 700 of the employees tested negative for COVID while the remaining are still waiting for their test results.

Image from Beijing News

Dr. Stephen Griffin, a virologist based at the University of Leeds, believes the ice cream may have been contaminated with a worker who is a carrier of the virus.

“Of course, any level of contamination is not acceptable and always a cause for concern, but the chances are that this is the result of an issue with the production plant and potentially down to hygiene at the factory,” Dr. Griffin explained.

It is possible the virus may have survived the product because of the cold temperature and the fat content, he said.

However, Dr. Griffin added this should not be a cause for panic since it does mean the whole ice cream is contaminated.

In the meantime, local authorities in Tianjin have already take measures to disinfect the workplace and trace the ice cream believed to be still out there in the market.