A group of researchers from Ireland and Singapore have found that the coronavirus can survive on frozen meat and salmon for up to three weeks.
According to BioRxiv, the study has not been peer-reviewed, which is a quality assurance of research contributions in that experts (typically two-four) within the subject critically evaluate the contribution before publication. This means that the study’s conclusion has not been confirmed.
The study, which was published on BioRxiv and reported in a number of foreign media, including Forbes, The Telegraph and TV2 Denmark, was carried out on the basis that researchers are investigating the possibility that contaminated food may be a source of new coronary outbreaks in countries that have previously brought the epidemic. control. Reference is made to Vietnam, New Zealand and parts of China, where there had been no cases of infection for a few months before new outbreaks occurred.
In the study individual pieces of salmon, chicken and pork sourced from supermarkets in Singapore were sliced into cubes and dose of SARS-CoV-2 viral particles were added to each cube. According to the researchers the samples were stored at three different temperatures (4°C, –20°C and –80°C) and harvested at specified time points (1, 2, 5, 7, 14-and 21-days post-inoculation).
“Our laboratory work has shown that SARS-CoV-2 can survive the time and temperatures associated with transportation and storage conditions associated with international food trade. When adding SARS-CoV-2 to chicken, salmon and pork pieces there was no decline in infectious virus after 21 days at 4°C (standard refrigeration) and –20°C (standard freezing),” the researchers wrote.
“Our findings, coupled with the reports from China of SARS-CoV-2 being detected on imported frozen chicken and frozen shrimp packaging material, should alert food safety competent authorities and the food industry of a “new normal” environment where this virus is posing a non-traditional food safety risk,” they added.
In June, coronavirus was found on a cutting blade for imported salmon at the largest market in the capital, Beijing. The discovery in the Xinfadi market led to the closure of parts of the capital, and China stopped the sale of almost all salmon. It was later determined that Norwegian salmon could not be linked to the eruption in Bejing.
The WHO advises that it is very unlikely that people can contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging. Also The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a national public health institute in the United States, has stated “currently there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with Covid-19,” according to Forbes.