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COVID-19 virus can survive on chilled and frozen salmon, chicken and pork for three weeks: Study - FoodNavigator-Asia.com
Chicken, pork and salmon samples contaminated with COVID-19 showed no decline in the virus level after 21 days in both refrigerated and frozen storage conditions.
In this preliminary report, researchers from Singapore and Ireland said this laboratory work has shown that the SARS-CoV-2 can survive the time and temperatures associated with transportation and storage conditions in the international food trade. Recently, there have been several reports of contaminated foodstuffs in the global supply chain, with China reporting SARS-CoV-2 detected on imported frozen chicken and frozen shrimp packaging material. This non-traditional transmission mechanism is currently being debated, but it is believed that contaminated persons can spread the virus on surfaces. In one study by Van Doremalen et al (2020), SARS-CoV-2 was found after four hours on copper surfaces, 24 hours on cardboard and after three days on stainless steel and plastic surfaces at 21 to 23°C. Researchers highlighted of this current study: (This) 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. The study was published in bioRxiv, a preprint server for biology research, and has not been peer-reviewed. Meat samples Chicken, pork and salmon were purchased from supermarkets in Singapore and sliced into 500mm3 cubes. Each cube was inoculated with 200 µl of 3 x 106 TCID50/ml SARS-CoV-2. The samples were stored at three different temperatures, 4C, 20C and 80C and harvested at different time points (1, 2, 5, 7, 14 and 21 days). Infectivity was maintained for three weeks in both the refrigerated (4°C) and frozen (20°C and 80°C) samples.