Frozen

health

Live coronavirus found on frozen food packaging in China

Chinese health authorities investigating a recent Covid-19 outbreak say they have discovered live coronavirus on frozen food packaging, a finding that suggests the virus can survive in cold supply chains.



a display in a store filled with lots of food: Photograph: Roman Pilipey/EPA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Roman Pilipey/EPA

On Saturday the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had found traces of live Covid-19 on the outer packing of frozen cod in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao, marking the first time live coronavirus has been detected on the outside of refrigerated goods. Researchers were investigating the source of a recent cluster of cases linked to a hospital in Qingdao.



a bunch of items that are on display in a store: Frozen food in a store in Beijing.


© Photograph: Roman Pilipey/EPA
Frozen food in a store in Beijing.

Genetic traces have previously been found in samples of frozen food but no living virus has been isolated before. “It has been confirmed that contact with outer packaging contaminated by the new coronavirus can cause infection,” the agency said in a statement on its website, without specifying where the batch of frozen food came from.

China, which until the Qingdao outbreak had recorded no new local cases in 55 days, has been one of few countries to point to possible transmission through frozen food. When Beijing had a second outbreak in June after the virus had been largely contained, officials suggested the new cluster could have come from imported salmon.

Video: Coronavirus – official list of long-term health effects (Wales Online)

Coronavirus – official list of long-term health effects

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said there has been no evidence that “handling food or consuming food is associated with Covid-19”. New Zealand ruled out the possibility that one of its first infections happened at a cold storage facility.

In August China increased inspection requirements for imports of frozen products after traces of the virus were found on frozen chicken wings from Brazil. Researchers have also detected the virus on imported shrimp and other frozen seafood.

The CDC did not say whether the outbreak in Qingdao was caused by the frozen food packaging. The outbreak, the first locally transmitted cases in almost two months, was traced back to two dock workers initially diagnosed as asymptomatic, who are believed to have infected 12 other people at a hospital.

It was not clear whether the dock workers contracted the virus from the packaging of frozen food. Still, the CDC warned those handling frozen products not to have direct contact with the goods.

The CDC said there had been no cases of consumers contracting the virus, and such a risk was low. But some residents have begun calling for a temporary ban on frozen food imports.

The CDC said that from a total of 2.98 million samples of food packaging, researchers found 22 samples that tested positive.

Source Article

Read More
health

Frozen Food Package Polluted by Living Coronavirus Could Cause Infection, China’s CDC Says | Top News

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s disease control authority said on Saturday that contact with frozen food packaging contaminated by living new coronavirus could cause infection.

The conclusion came as the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detected and isolated living coronavirus on the outer packaging of frozen cod during efforts to trace the virus in an outbreak reported last week in the city of Qingdao, the agency said on its website.

The finding, a world first, suggests it is possible for the virus to be conveyed over long distances via frozen goods, it said.

Two dock workers in Qingdao who were initially diagnosed as asymptomatic infections in September brought the virus to a chest hospital during quarantine due to insufficient disinfection and protection, leading to another 12 infections linked to the hospital, authorities said last week.

However, the CDC’s latest statement does not show solid proof that the two workers in Qingdao caught the virus from the packaging directly, rather than contracting the virus from somewhere else and then contaminating the food packaging they handled, said Jin Dong-Yan, a virology professor at the University of Hong Kong.

The CDC said no instance had been found of any consumer contracting the virus by having contact with frozen food and the risk of this happening remained very low.

Nonetheless it advised that workers who handle, process and sell frozen products should avoid direct skin contact with products that could possibly be polluted.

Staff should not touch their mouth or nose before taking off work garments that could possibly be contaminated without washing their hands and should take tests regularly, the agency said.

Prior to the CDC’s latest findings genetic traces of the virus had been found in some samples taken from frozen food or food packaging, but the amount of virus was low and no living virus was isolated, the agency said.

Only living virus can infect people, while samples containing dead virus could also test positive for virus traces, Jin said.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Tony Munroe; Editing by David Holmes)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

Source Article

Read More
health

Frozen food package polluted by living coronavirus could cause infection, China’s CDC says

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s disease control authority said on Saturday that contact with frozen food packaging contaminated by living new coronavirus could cause infection.

The conclusion came as the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detected and isolated living coronavirus on the outer packaging of frozen cod during efforts to trace the virus in an outbreak reported last week in the city of Qingdao, the agency said on its website.

The finding, a world first, suggests it is possible for the virus to be conveyed over long distances via frozen goods, it said.

Two dock workers in Qingdao who were initially diagnosed as asymptomatic infections in September brought the virus to a chest hospital during quarantine due to insufficient disinfection and protection, leading to another 12 infections linked to the hospital, authorities said last week.

However, the CDC’s latest statement does not show solid proof that the two workers in Qingdao caught the virus from the packaging directly, rather than contracting the virus from somewhere else and then contaminating the food packaging they handled, said Jin Dong-Yan, a virology professor at the University of Hong Kong.

The CDC said no instance had been found of any consumer contracting the virus by having contact with frozen food and the risk of this happening remained very low.

Nonetheless it advised that workers who handle, process and sell frozen products should avoid direct skin contact with products that could possibly be polluted.

Staff should not touch their mouth or nose before taking off work garments that could possibly be contaminated without washing their hands and should take tests regularly, the agency said.

Prior to the CDC’s latest findings genetic traces of the virus had been found in some samples taken from frozen food or food packaging, but the amount of virus was low and no living virus was isolated, the agency said.

Only living virus can infect people, while samples containing dead virus could also test positive for virus traces, Jin said.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Tony Munroe; Editing by David Holmes)

Source Article

Read More