June 21, 2020 / 10:38 AM / 20 days ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-China suspends imports of poultry from Tyson plant over COVID-19 -customs authority

(Corrects to say that company has not answered a call seeking comment)

BEIJING, June 21 (Reuters) - China's customs authority said on Sunday it had suspended imports of poultry products from a plant owned by U.S.-based meat processor Tyson Inc that has been hit by the novel coronavirus.

The General Administration of Customs said on its website it had decided on the suspension after the company confirmed it had bat the plant, which carries the registration number of P5842.

The plant is located in Springdale, Arizona, according to a customs file of registered exporters.

A Tyson media official did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

China also suspended pork products from German pork processor Toennies last week following a coronavirus outbreak among hundreds of its workers.

China has stepped up its oversight of imported foods after a new cluster of coronavirus cases were linked to a sprawling wholesale food market in the capital just over a week ago.

Beijing began testing meat, seafood and fresh produce for the coronavirus last week and some ports were opening all containers of meat to carry out coronavirus tests.

On Friday, customs asked food exporters to sign a declaration that their produce is not contaminated by the novel coronavirus.

Imports of U.S. poultry have surged since China ended an almost five-year ban on the trade in November 2019. (Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Timothy Heritage)

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