CORONAVIRUS can survive on frozen meat and fish for THREE weeks, a new study suggests.
Scientists are now warning that contaminated foods could cause coronavirus outbreaks – since it survives even in freezing temperatures.
Individual pieces of salmon, chicken and pork from supermarkets in Singapore were sliced and a sample of the virus was added to them.
The infected meat and fish was then stored in freezing temperatures to see if the virus could survive.
They were put in conditions which stimuale those used to transport food between countries – between 4C, which is standard refrigeration temperature, and minus 20C, which is standard freezing temperature.
After 21 days, coronavirus was still present in the meat and fish samples.
Scientists are now warning that this may explain outbreaks in countries which have not had any coronavirus cases for long periods – and could potentially lead to future spikes.
The study states: "An explanation is required for the re-emergence of Covid-19 outbreaks in regions with apparent local eradication.
"Recent outbreaks have emerged in Vietnam, New Zealand and parts of China where there had been no cases for some months.
"Importation of contaminated food and food packaging is a feasible source for such outbreaks and a source of clusters within existing outbreaks.
"While it can be confidently argued that transmission via contaminated food is not a major infection route, the potential for movement of contaminated items to a region with no Covid-19 and initiate an outbreak is an important hypothesis.
"An infected food handler has the potential to become an index case of a new outbreak.
"The international food market is massive and even a very unlikely event could be expected to occur from time to time."
Prof James Wood, head of the Veterinary Medicine department at the University of Cambridge, told The Sunday Telegraph: “The authors discuss, very sensibly, how it is important that factory workers must be incentivised not to go to work when symptomatic or in contact with Covid-19 cases.”
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