For the first time in the world, experts from the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention have detected a live COVID-19 virus on frozen seafood packaging, the center said.
Experts extracted a live virus from a positive sample taken from the outer packaging of imported frozen cod during an epidemiological investigation into the causes of the coronavirus outbreak in Qingdao.
“This is the world’s first case of extracting a live virus from a positive sample taken from a frozen food package, and it also confirmed that contact with a live virus on the package can lead to infection,” the center’s website said in a statement.
The department explained that in this way for the first time outside the laboratory it was proved that under special conditions of transportation of frozen products, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive on the packaging for a long time.
Under certain conditions, unprotected contact with a product surface that contains a live virus can lead to infection. The risk group is workers who come into contact with frozen products.
At the same time, the center noted the low risk of infection in this way, since previously, Chinese specialists had never been able to extract a live virus from positive samples taken from packages of frozen products.
“The studies available so far indicate that COVID-19 is not a foodborne virus, there are no cases of infection through food consumption. To date, there have been no cases of infection through contact with frozen seafood on which it was a virus has been found, “ the center noted, stressing that the main routes of transmission are still airborne and close contact.