Coronaviruses Can Survive on Frozen Meat for a Month

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Had COVID? You would possibly need to clear your freezer out.

A brand new research means that cousins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive on frozen meat and fish for as much as 30 days.

The analysis — prompted by COVID outbreaks in Asia by which packaged meat was suspected because the virus’ supply — was performed on frozen hen, beef, pork and salmon. The findings have been printed June 11 in Utilized and Environmental Microbiology , a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

“Though you won’t retailer meat within the fridge for 30 days, you would possibly retailer it within the freezer for that lengthy,” stated first writer Emily Bailey, assistant professor of public well being at Campbell College in Buies Creek, N.C.

Her crew performed its analysis with out use of the particular coronavirus that causes COVID-19. As an alternative, researchers relied on surrogate viruses with related protein spikes.

These related viruses have been positioned on frozen meat and fish, which was then saved in each fridge temperatures (39.2 levels Fahrenheit) and freezer temperatures (-4 F.)

“We even discovered that the viruses may very well be cultured after [being frozen for] that size of time,” Bailey stated in a journal information launch.

Researchers stated their findings are vital as a result of SARS-CoV-2 can reproduce within the intestine, not simply within the respiratory tract the place most individuals really feel its results.

Three virus strains have been used as surrogates within the research, together with two animal coronaviruses. All three have been used as stand-ins in earlier research of SARS-CoV-2.

The researchers discovered that the viruses did not fare as nicely in refrigerated temperatures as in freezer temperatures. The numbers additionally differed by meals merchandise.

They stated this research underlines the significance of rigorous sanitation within the harvest, transport, packaging and distribution of meals merchandise.

“Continued efforts are wanted to forestall contamination of meals and meals processing surfaces, employee palms, and meals processing utensils corresponding to knives,” the authors wrote, including that the disinfection of meals previous to packaging additionally must be addressed.

Extra info

For extra about maintaining meals protected through the COVID pandemic, go to the U.S. Division of Agriculture.

SOURCE: Utilized and Environmental Microbiology, information launch, July 11, 2022

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