HONG KONG (Kyodo) Hong Kong has barred the import of poultry and poultry products from Japan due to the avian flu outbreak, the Center for Food Safety said.

Applications for those imports will not be processed until further notice, the center said.

“We took the decision following confirmation of an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5 in the city of Miyazaki,” a center spokesman said Monday.

Health authorities fear that infected chicken meat could spread the pathogenic virus to humans, although the risk of contracting the disease from food consumption is known to be low.

An import ban was slapped on Japan early last month due to the avian flu outbreak in Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture. Poultry imports resumed Dec. 28, except products from Shimane.

Hong Kong imported about 4,700 tons of frozen poultry and 20 million eggs from Japan in the first 11 months of last year.

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