BREAKING! U.S. Study Finds That SARS-CoV-2 Can Survive On Frozen Or Refrigerated Meats And Seafood For Up To 30 Days, Validating China’s Claims!
: When China on numerous occasions made allegations that many of its COVID-19 outbreaks were caused imported frozen foods including salmon, lobsters, lamb, beef and other foods, many Western ‘experts; were quick to dismiss the claims as being not true.
Dr Andrew Pekosz of Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, a probably paid ‘stooge’ for garbage fact-checkers like the Associated Press that has been disseminating lots of misinformation since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak said, “I’ve seen no convincing data that SARS-CoV-2 on food packaging poses a significant risk for infection.”
There were already numerous past studies that showed that the SARS-CoV-2 could remain active on various foodstuffs including refrigerated and frozen foods for long periods of time.
A new American study by researchers from Campbell University-North Carolina, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Nebraska has found that SARS-CoV-2 surrogates can survive on frozen or refrigerated meats and seafood for up to 30 days, validating China’s claims that imported frozen foods were responsible for the virus transmissions and outbreak in the country.
To date, multiple pathways of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission have been examined, and the role of contaminated foods as a source of SARS-CoV-2 exposure has been suggested.
Because many cases of SARS-CoV-2 have been linked to meat processing plants, it may be that conditions in live animal markets and slaughterhouses or meat processing plant procedures transfer viral particles to meat, poultry, and seafood during animal slaughter, processing, storage, or transport.
As a result of the potential for contamination of foods such as beef, chicken, pork, or fish, the goal of this study was to evaluate the survival of a lipid enveloped RNA bacteriophage, phi 6, as well as two animal coronaviruses, murine hepatitis virus (MHV) and transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), as SARS-CoV-2 surrogates for their survival under various meat and fish cold-storage conditions over 30 days.
These viral surrogates differed in survival, depending on food product and temperature, but overall, viruses survived for extended periods of time at high concentrations at both refrigerated and frozen temperatures.
The ability of SARS-CoV-2 viral surrogates like Phi 6 and animal coronaviruses to survive for varying extents on some meat and fish products when stored refrigerated or frozen is a significant and concerning finding.
Continued efforts are needed to prevent contamination of foods and food processing surfaces, worker hands, and food processing utensils such as knives, and there is a need to better address the lack of or inadequate disinfection of these foods prior to meat packaging.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/aem.00504-22
The study was conducted using chicken, beef, pork and salmon, and surrogate viruses with spikes similar to those on SARS-CoV-2, as surrogates, said first author Dr Emily S. Bailey, Ph.D.
study team stored the products at both refrigeration (4oC, or 39.2oF) and freezer temperatures (-20oC, or -4oF).
Dr Bailey told Thailand Medical News
, "Although you might not store meat in the fridge for 30 days, you might store it in the freezer for that long. We even found that the viruses could be cultured after being frozen for that length of time!"
Dr Bailey is an assistant professor at the Department of Public Health, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Campbell University.
The study team undertook this research after learning that COVID-19 outbreaks were occurring in Southeast Asia absent prior community transmission.
Reports from those communities "suggested that packaged meat products, produced in areas where SARS-CoV-2 was circulating, could have been the source of the virus," said Bailey.
She added, "Our goal was to investigate whether or not similar viruses could survive in this environment."
The study findings are important because SARS-CoV-2 can replicate within the gut, as well as in the respiratory tract, warned Dr Bailey.
Food borne transmissions of SARS-CoV-2 with various abdominal and gastrointestinal manifestations is a growing concern.
In the research, the study team used 1 RNA virus with a lipid envelop, and 2 animal coronaviruses, murine hepatitis virus, and transmissible gastroenteritis virus as surrogates.
It should be noted that all 3 viruses have previously been used as surrogates for SARS-CoV-2, generally with greater reductions in their numbers observed at refrigeration than at freezing temperatures. The reduction in numbers also varied according to the food item used.
The study team commented, "Continued efforts are needed to prevent contamination of foods and food processing surfaces, worker hands and food processing utensils such as knives. Additionally, the lack of, or inadequate disinfection of these foods prior to packaging needs to be addressed."
People need to be more careful and not only handle frozen and refrigerated foods with proper care and also have them properly cooked prior to eating but they should also avoid cold foods at buffets and also food items like sushi etc at open stalls in various malls etc. Also, when at supermarkets, use disposable foods when handling food items etc
With many countries in the Northern Hemisphere still in the Summer Season, the cravings for chilled foods should be handled with caution.
For more on Food borne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2
, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News