China’s disease control authority said on Saturday that contact with frozen food packaging contaminated with the new coronavirus could cause infection according to a news from Reuters.
Conclusion came when the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detected and isolated the coronavirus living in a frozen cod outer packaging, during an outbreak in Qingdao.
It is stated that the finding, which is a first in the world, suggests that it is possible to transport the virus over long distances with frozen products.
Two dockers, who were first diagnosed with asymptomatic infections in Qingdao in September, brought the virus to a chest hospital during quarantine due to inadequate disinfection and protection, causing 12 other hospital-related infections.
Virologist Jin Dong-Yan said the CDC’s recent statement did not show solid evidence that the two workers in Qingdao caught the virus directly from the packaging, rather than grabbing the virus elsewhere and contaminating the food packaging they were later processing. Professor at the University of Hong Kong.
The CDC said that no consumers were encountered with the virus by coming into contact with frozen food, and the risk of this happening remains very low.
However, he recommended that workers who handle, process and sell frozen products should avoid direct skin contact with potentially contaminated products.
It is recommended that staff should not touch their mouths or noses and regularly perform tests before removing potentially contaminated workwear without washing their hands.
Prior to the CDC’s recent findings, the agency said, some samples from frozen foods or food packaging had genetic traces of the virus, but the amount of virus was low and no live virus was isolated.
Jin said that while only live virus can infect humans, samples containing dead viruses can be tested positive for virus traces.