China suspends imports from Brazil pork plant over coronavirus concerns, meat group says

SAO PAULO, Jan 4 (Reuters) - China has suspended imports from a Brazilian pork plant operated by privately-owned Aurora Alimentos over coronavirus concerns, according to a statement from meat trade group on Monday, in the latest suspension since the health crisis began.

The Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA) said it is giving support to Aurora Alimentos and supplying Brazil’s agriculture ministry with information that may need to be sent to Chinese authorities to reverse the ban, the statement said.

“This is an isolated event in the past,” ABPA said. “All information and demonstrations of Aurora’s good practices have been shared in detail with Chinese authorities,” ABPA said, adding that the company enforces strict COVID-19 protocols.

The Aurora plant affected by the latest suspension is located in the town of Chapecó, Santa Catarina state, ABPA said. China has also issued similar suspensions against other Brazil-based meatpackers including JBS SA and BRF SA , although some of the bans have been already lifted.

ABPA reiterated that there is no scientific evidence of the risk of contamination by the novel coronavirus through food consumption. (Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Aurora Ellis)