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Evidence shows that food is an unlikely route of transmitting the coronavirus across borders, but contaminated items continue to grab the spotlight, deepening the uncertainty over whether the $220 billion cold chain industry could be implicated in the spread of COVID-19.

China has repeatedly found traces of the pathogen on packaging and food, raising fears that imported items are linked to recent virus resurgences in Beijing and the port city of Dalian. In the nation’s strongest action since it began testing food items in June, a major Chinese city on Sunday banned imports of frozen meat from coronavirus hot spots.

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