The Xinfadi wholesale market in Beijing, the site of the infamous finding of COVID-19 on a salmon chopping board, has suspended the storage and sale of chilled and frozen meat and seafood products, reports state-owned Xinhua.
The move follows reports of COVID-19 infections related to imported frozen products in multiple Chinese provinces and municipalities in recent months.
All frozen and aquatic products have been removed from the market's refrigerated warehouses, which have had their electricity supplies cut and undergone disinfection, according to the market.
The measures will not affect Xinfadi's fresh pork trade, and market authorities have registered and conducted checks on all the warehouses and cold-storage facilities for fruits and vegetables.
Xinfadi market is Beijing's largest wholesale market. It was temporarily shut down due to a resurgence of the COVID-19 epidemic in June. The wholesale area reopened on Sept. 6, marking the full resumption of business at the market in the wake of the closure.
The market provides about 70 percent of Beijing's vegetables, 10 percent of its pork and 3 percent of its beef and mutton before being shut down on June 13.
Starting on June 11, Beijing reported 335 confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to a cluster from the Xinfadi wholesale market.
The Chinese mainland on Tuesday reported no new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, the National Health Commission said Wednesday.
China has been suspending imports from companies for a week if frozen food products have tested positive for coronavirus and for a month if a supplier’s products tested positive for a third time or more.
The issue of COVID-19 being found on seafood packaging has been troublesome for both Chilean salmon producers and Ecuadorian shrimp exporters among others.
Chilean salmon producers have been plotting their path back into China after Chinese consumers and retailers their products following the discovery in June of COVID-19 on the chopping board of a seller of imported salmon at Beijing's main wholesale seafood market.
Salmon from Chile was never officially banned from China, but was forced to undergo a series of tests at ports. When supermarkets stopped stocking imported salmon and shoppers shunned it, producers made the decision to take a breather from the market.
Exports of Ecuadorian shrimp to China suffered a massive slump beginning in July, after a series of discoveries of COVID-19 on outer packaging containing their products, leading to fears that a recovery in shipments to China could be years away.
The country's shrimp producers insist any discoveries of COVID-19 must have come from contact with external sources as they pass through a long chain of custody en-route to their final destination.