Did You Know? Coronaviruses Can Survive on Frozen Meat for a Month
According to a recent study, Coronaviruses can survive on frozen meat for up to a month when stored in the freezer or refrigerator. These results highlight the need for strict and ongoing food cleanliness and hygiene. In addition to the respiratory tract, the gut is also a place where SARS-CoV-2 can replicate.
Some covid 19 outbreaks did not have any prior community transmission history. This could mean that packaged meat products from regions with high coronavirus transmission rates may have been the cause of the outbreaks.
The trials used one RNA virus with a lipid envelope (Phi 6), two animal coronaviruses, and surrogate viruses. These had spikes similar to those of SARS-CoV-2. What’s that you ask? It’s the murine hepatitis virus and the transmissible gastroenteritis virus.
Researchers used meats like chicken, pork, beef, and salmon. The beef was in freezers and refrigerators at temperatures of 4℃ and -20℃.
Emily Bailey saw that all viruses kept on meat and fish products survived to various degrees at both 4°C and -20°C for the entire month. The potential of Phi 6 to live in varying degrees for long hours on some meat and fish products is an important finding.
The study’s use of substitute coronaviruses rather than SARS-CoV-2 itself has some drawbacks. The differences in virus survival among the surrogates suggest a very important point. One indicator virus may not always behave like SARS-CoV-2, even though these viruses are trustworthy models for the study.
Viruses persisting in contaminated foods can lead to further exposure and transmission. This is because enveloped viruses, like SARS-CoV-2, can survive refrigeration and freeze for a long time.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that COVID-19 can’t spread through food or food packaging, it is untrue.
These viruses must be understood better to determine how they can survive low temperatures in meat, fish, and other foods.
After all, reports about the potential spread of SARS-CoV-2 through contaminated food products still emerge.
Despite the finding that coronaviruses can survive on frozen meat for a month, people should still be aware that there is only a theoretical chance they could contract the virus via eating refrigerated or frozen meat or fish. Without concrete proof of transmission at this time, the authors have pushed this hypothesis.
What Could This Mean?
Even if you ate something with an infectious virus in it, your stomach’s acidity would kill the virus. This will negate any risk of it spreading throughout your body. It is also unlikely that the virus will enter your nasal passages while eating.
Even then, hygiene deserves prime importance.
Emphasis on the importance of strict food hygiene during the food’s harvest and transport is the need of the hour. There are still COVID-19 infection clusters in slaughterhouses and meat processing facilities.
Despite increased usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other control methods, viral contamination is prevalent in these meats.
You can at least make sure meat is stored hygienically in your homes and the places you buy from.
Take a step further and share this article with your friends and family so they can do the same!
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