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Photo by Revista Puerto

China requires monthly swabs from food handlers

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Friday, February 26, 2021, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

In a recent audit they established the new requirements as of next month. In principle they were in force since January, but the companies asked for more time until the activity is regularized. They also request disinfection of the cargo before export and control swabs.

China has increased the levels of demand for sanitary controls on fish imports entering that country. At least those from Argentina, after in October last year it temporarily suspended a group of establishments authorized by SENASA, after detecting traces of coronavirus in boxes of frozen whole fish.

Photo: courtesy Revista Puerto ►

Based on this situation, the fishing business chambers requested a meeting with members of the Fishing area of ​​SENASA to begin working on the application of the new prevention measures.

From the health agency they recognized that the new demands have to do with swabs to all operators who handle food for that destination. "Swabbing should be done with a frequency of no more than one month," acknowledged Ana Arcuri, supervisor of the Fisheries area of ​​the Buenos Aires South region of SENASA.

The virtual meeting with the cameras occurred days after one of the suspended establishments received a new audit by the zoom platform. “We found out on a Monday and it was two days later; We will not know when they will carry out others ”, confessed the specialist.

China never exhibited the results of the tests that determined the existence of traces of covid in boxes of frozen sea bass, nor did it report the results of the counter-test, in the event that it had been carried out.

Photo: courtesy Revista Puerto

According to what this medium learned from China, they selected one of the workers of the establishment and asked him a series of questions about the application of the protocols to evaluate his knowledge.

Based on this situation, SENASA and the fishing chambers drew up a protocol for the disinfection process of the cargo before uploading it to the container bound for China. Now they must also swab the cardboard material to determine if there are traces of the virus. "It is done in the same way, a swab is passed over the surface in different sectors and it is sent to the laboratory," Arcuri explained.

It will now be necessary to see with the new demands how many companies are willing to send products to China. In the case of Solimeno or Moscuzza, which have more than 300 workers, performing general swabs every month implies a cost that jeopardizes the profitability of the business.

Photo: courtesy Moscuzza Group

"We send some containers, but we have more than 100 workers and I don't think we send anything else because they don't give the numbers if we have to swab all of them, every month," said an industrialist when asked by Revista Puerto.

The provision of the Chinese health authority should have come into effect in January, but at this time most of the cold stores are with the staff licensed on vacation. For this reason, the business chambers asked to run the deadlines until March, when the activity is completely regularized.

Ardapez is another of the meatpacking companies that regularly exports fish products to China. Between the two reprocessing plants it employs more than 300 operators. Yesterday this medium consulted one of its workers and they had not yet been tested.

YouTube Video Solimeno Group

"Until now they have not told us anything," revealed the plant worker, while anticipating that in two weeks they will have a general meeting on the subject of protocols.

From SENASA they stressed that the authorized establishments comply with the prevention and distancing measures, and that over the months they have been working better and better. “Applying the protocols accordingly minimizes the risk of virus transmission. And they were applied correctly because if not, the industry could not have continued operating ”, acknowledged the SENASA Supervisor for whom the early detection of cases and preventive isolation were key to avoiding a growth in the number of infections.

Author: Roberto Garrone / Revista Puerto (article available only in Spanish)




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