Can Frozen Food Packaging Keep Coronavirus Alive?
Upon doing contact tracing following a recent outbreak in Qingdao, China, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found live coronavirus on the outer packaging of frozen food.
XinhuaNet, a Chinese News Agency, mentioned that the risk of spread due to the frozen food packaging distribution is low based on the nucleic tests that were taken from the samples.
Only 22 out of over 2 million samples (670,000 of which were from cold-chain food) tested positive. It is the first time, however, that the virus was tested and found on frozen packaging.
Despite the low rate, the investigation proved that it is indeed possible to get infected with the virus after having contact with a food frozen packaging.
Here is a tweet including the CDC announcement:
#China confirmed the detection and isolation of living #COVID19 virus on the outer packaging of imported frozen cod in the eastern coastal city of #Qingdao. It is the first time in the world that living COVID19 virus has been isolated from the outer packaging of cold-chain food. pic.twitter.com/gE1KF9NQ6G — ZouYue (@ZouYueTweets) October 18, 2020
Does this come as a surprise though? Not really.
It's been a while since we've known from an article published in Forbes that coronovirus can endure on particular surfaces for up to 28 days. Virology Journal explained that surfaces like glass, money, and steel are the most common culprits, which enables the virus to survive 28 days long.
Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated on their website that those that have been Covid-19 infected could spread the virus via the respiratory droplets they produce whenever they sneeze, sing, talk, or even breathe.
Thus, coronavirus can spread to anyone who has been exposed within the time the virus remains active.
So overall, what is the main takeaway on this?
First off, it is another reminder (as if we haven't heard enough) that you need to think twice (or more) about where your hands had been before you touch your face, mouth, nose, etc. Wash your hands often, most especially after handling frozen food packages.
When in doubt, it is also not wrong to disinfect the packages as long as they don't come in contact with your food.
The chances of getting infected from the packaging are again relatively low but hey, who can tell if you would be one of the few who actually got affected?
With the count of Covid-19 infected individuals constantly going up and down particularly in countries that haven't full control of it yet, all the more it is essential to follow safety precautions.
If adding the step of wiping food packages to disinfect before you put them on your food table where everyone in our home gains access to it actually helps put your mind at ease, then why not?
Will you pay for $106 for a burger made at Gordon Ramsay's?