While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have said there’s no evidence of contracting the coronavirus from food or its packaging, a new study suggests salmon could potentially carry traces of COVID-19.
Chinese researchers suggest traces of COVID-19 on salmon were detected and could be infectious for more than a week. (iStock).
A new study from Chinese researchers suggests that traces of COVID-19 on salmon were detected and could be infectious for more than a week.
Scientists from South China Agricultural University and Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Guangzhou collected virus samples from salmon and noted it could survive up to eight days at 39 degrees Fahrenheit. The report, released last week, is still awaiting peer review and publication.
“SARS-CoV-2-contaminated fish from one country can be easily transported to another country within one week, thus serving as one of the sources for international transmission,” researchers wrote in the paper.
The findings are contrary to what health agencies have advised regarding the foodborne transmission of COVID-19. The CDC said in August on its website: “Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19.
The health protection agency advises handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after handling food packages or before preparing and eating meals.
The CDC has also reported that the most common way COVID-19 is believed to be spread is person-to-person contact, including from droplets in the air after someone coughs or sneezes.
“Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness,” the FDA said. “Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.”
The FDA also said the virus can’t live on imported food packaging and, depending on the surface, can only survive on it for a short period of time — anywhere between a few hours to a few days.
When it comes to food, however, the virus could be spread by an infected food worker if they do not wash hands properly after using the bathroom, according to Harvard Medical School’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.