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HK moves to secure food supplies as Covid outbreak shuts down slaughterhouse

25 February 2022

By The SUN

The city's main slaughterhouse will close from tonight after dozens of staff contracted Covid-19

Hong Kong is opening new routes for food shipments from China in a bid to further stabilize the supply of goods, including vegetables, fruits and other daily necessities.

The need for a new supply routes became more pronounced with the announcement earlier today that the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse will be closed from midnight tonight after more than 190 of its staff tested positive for Covid-19.

The abattoir will be cleaned and sterilized over the weekend while staff are made to undergo Covid-19 tests. It is not yet clear when it will reopen.


The overland cross-border route through which much of Hong Kong’s food supply from the Mainland used to pass, was shut down early this month after a number of drivers tested positive for Covid-19.

According to a statement issued by the government the supplies of meat and fresh produce have so far remained stable. Vegetable shipments from the mainland as of yesterday were reportedly at 90 percent of last year’s daily average, while chilled poultry and chilled meat were at 70 percent.

There is a marked decrease in the supply of fresh vegetables in supermarkets

This was in part due to the Sea Express project, which transports food supplies from the Mainland to Hong Kong by sea, and was launched jointly by Hong Kong, Guangdong and Shenzhen officials. 

The "Sea Express" has daily links between Shenzhen Yantian International Container Terminals and  Hong Kong Kwai Tsing Container Terminals (KTCT), the Shenzhen DaChan Bay Terminals and KTCT and the Shenzhen Mawan Container Terminal with the Hong Kong River Trade Terminal.

To facilitate the flow of goods, mainland officials set up green channels where the loading of ships and trailers for operations between Shenzhen and Hong Kong were given priority.

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“Dedicated berths, supporting equipment and yard facilities have been assigned for ensuring that ships carrying cross-boundary goods have priority for berthing operations. More routes are expected to be launched shortly, with a view to supplying more types of goods from Guangdong Province and the Shenzhen Municipality to Hong Kong,” the statement said.

Separately the Hong Kong government has been working with the Shenzhen municipal government on looking at ways of transporting food and goods supplies by railways. 

This morning, various government departments led by the Transport and Housing Bureau, together with the MTR Corporation, conducted a site visit at Lo Wu and will follow this up with talks with their Mainland counterparts on arranging trial operations as soon as possible.


Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety has also set up an inspection point in its existing Food Control Office at Kwai Chung Customhouse to expedite the entry of fresh food.

According to Mainland authorities, the three terminals of Yantian, DaChan Bay and Mawan port transported around 2,000 tons of supplies to Hong Kong yesterday (Feb 24), among which were more than 300 tons were fresh food and more than 1,700 tons were non-fresh food.

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Since the launch of the services, more than 7,500 tons of cargo, have been shipped to Hong Kong from the three terminals, of which 900 tons consisted of fresh food.

With the closure of the Sheung Shui slaughterhouse, the government said it is discussing with Mainland officials on deploying professional and experienced personnel to Hong Kong to help with the resumption of local fresh meat supply as soon as possible.


Meantime, the government has requested other meat provider and agents to increase the importation of chilled meat to ensure a steady supply in the city.


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