A local Singaporean study found that COVID-19 can survive on frozen fish, chicken and pork for three weeks at refrigeration temperature, The Straits Times reported.
The study was co-led by Danielle Anderson, scientific director at Duke-NUS Medical School, and Dale Fisher, a professor at the National University of Singapore.
Samples of the infected salmon, chicken and pork were stored at three different temperatures: refrigeration temperature, freezer temperature and deep freezer temperature.
The samples were kept at those temperatures based on usual transport timelines. The researchers found the virus survived and remained infectious at refrigeration and freezer temperature for three weeks.
The researchers received a World Health Organization (WHO) grant to pursue the study further, testing lower amounts of the virus on food packaging, intending to replicate the usual scenario.
The researchers are also looking into the possibility of infection by eating COVID-19 contaminated food.
Following the alleged detection of COVID-19 particles on frozen fish products, Chinese authorities allegedly strengthened regulations, documentation checks and the testing of incoming shipments.
The most recent outbreak of COVID-19 in the port of Qingdao is being tied to the importation of frozen cod, which predominantly comes from Norway, Iceland or Russia, and is re-exported via Holland into China. Since Oct. 23, it has not been possible for Dutch traders to buy non-live fish, crustaceans and molluscs for export to China because health certificates for these countries are not issued by the Netherlands food and consumer product safety authority (NVWA).
In the first week of November, Dutch seafood traders said they are hoping to resume exports to China if necessary changes to relevant health certificates are put in place.
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