Veterinary Dept: Poultry from Negri processing plant safe for consumption

The Veterinary Department assured the public that they need not fear eating chicken meat, as beta coronaviruses cannot infect avians due to the different receptors. — Reuters pic
The Veterinary Department assured the public that they need not fear eating chicken meat, as beta coronaviruses cannot infect avians due to the different receptors. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — The Veterinary Department confirmed that a poultry processing plant in Negri Sembilan is free of the Covid-19 virus after testing.

It said the results of samples taken from a whole chicken at the plant in Pedas for RT-PCR testing, which came out on Saturday (May 9) was revealed to be negative.

“The plant itself was certified with the Veterinary Health Mark since 2008. The department wishes to stress that via the scientific method by several international agencies and institutions, to date animals including cows, sheep, pigs, and chicken are not transmission vectors of Covid-19 to humans,” said the department in a statement.

It added that meat inspection is always conducted by an inspector to ensure the safety and quality of chickens at the plant.

Several reports by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation were also cited, which stated that it is highly unlikely for people to contract Covid-19 from food or food packaging, with a lack of evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illness being transmitted via food or food packaging, and that coronaviruses cannot multiply in food.

“An article by the University of Georgia in the United States, dated to March 23 this year, states that the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2)  is not associated with poultry or poultry products”.

“Studies published in several international journals have indicated the cause of the Covid-19 aliment by the SARS-Cov-2 virus is derived from the betacoronavirus group, while the gammacoronavirus group is found in avian species including chicken,” said the department.

To this, it assured the public that they need not fear eating chicken meat, as beta coronaviruses cannot infect avians due to the different receptors.

Earlier on Friday (May 8) the Health Ministry confirmed several workers at the plant tested positive for Covid-19, and ordered it to be temporarily closed, starting Thursday (May 7).

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