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This Popular Food Can Carry Coronavirus for Up to a Week, New Study Finds

Chinese authorities believe imported food could be the culprit of new COVID-19 cases.
smoked salmon

While the CDC and the FDA have been consistently firm in their stance that foodborne transmission of coronavirus is virtually nonexistent, there may be some new evidence to the contrary.

After finding traces of the virus on several imported foods and their packaging, like salmon from Norway and chicken wings from Brazil, Chinese authorities have been investigating the viability of the virus on food items since June.

Now, a new study out of South China Agricultural University and Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Guangzhou says that traces of the virus lingering on salmon could not only be detected, but also may remain infectious for more than a week.

In an attempt to gauge how long the coronavirus could stay viable at low temperatures, similar to ones used in commercial food transportation, scientists found that the virus may be viable a lot longer than was previously believed. The study states that the virus samples collected from salmon survived up to eight days at 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

"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," the research paper noted.

It's worth mentioning, however, that the study was just released last week, and is pending peer review and publication.

These findings present a stark contrast to the most recent reports in American media, which note that there is no cause for concern around coronavirus transmission through food. In fact, a recently released study by the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods found "no documented evidence that food is a significant source or vehicle for transmission of COVID."

For more information on the topic, check out 7 Coronavirus Food Myths You Shouldn't Believe.

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Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more
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