BEIJING — The Food and Drug Administration on Feb 6 advised against eating wild animals and “novelty” food during the upcoming Spring Festival.
People from some parts of China, such as Guangdong province, eat animals such as snakes and rats.
The administration suggested that the public — especially the elderly, children, pregnant women and people with food allergies — consume “normal” food and avoid anything “uncommon”.
In light of this, it has stepped up a nationwide food safety inspection ahead of the Spring Festival, which falls on Feb 19.
A species of Chinese bat was confirmed to be the source of the deadly SARS virus that broke out in 2002, the Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed in 2013.
A recent study on SARS confirmed findings from 2005 that identified bats as the natural hosts of coronaviruses closely related to SARS.
The virus killed about 800 people during 2002 and 2003. Palm civets sold at live animal markets were previously believed to be the direct source of the virus.