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August 30, 2022

Covid-19 Survival on Frozen Meats and Seafoods

On request from the Meat Industry Association, the New Zealand Food Safety Science & Research Centre commissioned ESR to provide in-depth commentary on a recent international study investigating the survival of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) on different meats and seafoods.  The study postulated that food could be infected with the virus and that because the virus would survive indefinitely once the product was frozen that food was a probable transmission route. ESR noted concerns about the interpretation of findings from both this study and published data by the authors. This highlights the value of independent review of such reports, to ensure the best science is available to provide assurances to local and overseas markets.

There remains no evidence to date that people have or can be infected by eating food contaminated by the COVID-19 virus - it travels a respiratory, not a faecal-oral route. You can read the full report here