Chinese food producer says swine fever found in dumplings
China is the world's biggest consumer and producer of pork. © AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN.
A major Chinese food producer said Monday that traces of the African swine fever virus had been found in its frozen dumplings.
China, the world's biggest consumer and producer of pork, has struggled to contain an outbreak of the virus since the first cases were detected last August.
Officials have said hundreds of thousands of pigs were culled in a bid to stop its spread -- an effort that has also seen restrictions placed on moving pigs from affected areas.
Sanquan Food, based in central Henan province, issued a public statement confirming media reports published in recent days that contaminated pork dumplings were detected in two provinces that do not share a border.
The company said suspect batches of dumplings had reached grocery stores, but that it was sealing affected products and cooperating with authorities.
The statement did not mention a broader recall.
Unconfirmed Chinese media reports have said that products manufactured by several other companies also contained traces of the virus.
African swine fever is not harmful to humans but can be fatal to pigs, raising fears for the country's giant pork industry.
But the media reports prompted anger online from Chinese consumers who vented over the latest in a recurring series of product scandals, despite repeated government promises to ensure safety.
Sanquan Food's share price dropped as much as 2.25 percent in Monday morning trading on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.