Researchers from Singapore and Ireland published a study in bioRxiv last week, exploring the possibility of infectious virus lingering on imported foods as a plausible reason for the virus resurgence in Vietnam, New Zealand and parts of China. The study was not certified by peer review.
The team added SARS-CoV-2 to sliced cubes of salmon, chicken, and pork sourced from supermarkets in Singapore and stored the samples at three different temperatures (4˚C, –20˚C and –80˚C) and harvested at specified time points (1, 2, 5, 7, 14 and 21 days post-inoculation), study authors wrote.
They found that the food was still contaminated with the virus three weeks later in both the refrigerated (4°C) and frozen (–20°C and –80°C) samples.
“When adding SARS-CoV-2 to chicken, salmon, and pork pieces there was no decline in infectious virus after 21 days at 4°C (standard refrigeration) and –20°C (standard freezing),” they wrote.
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