Three Chinese cities have reported detecting coronavirus on imported frozen food over the span of four days, raising fresh concerns contaminated food shipments could lead to new outbreaks, NBC News reported.
On Aug. 13, NBC News reported that health officials in the southeastern city of Shenzhen said a surface sample of frozen chicken wings from Brazil has tested positive for the virus. The virus was detected as part of routine screenings being carried out on meat and seafood imports since June in the wake of an outbreak in Beijing linked to a major wholesale food market.
As The Scientist
noted, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dismiss the idea that disease transmission on packaging is a serious concern.
The WHO says it is “highly unlikely that people can contract Covid-19 from food or food packaging,” due to the fact that coronaviruses require a living host to multiply. Outside a body, they gradually become weaker and lose the ability to actively infect. In a June memo, the CDC similarly claimed that the risk of infection from food products or bags is “thought to be very low.” Remnants of dead virus have been known to cause false positive results in recovered patients, CNN reports.
Sources: NBC News and The Scientist