With a mask covering your face and a new hygiene routine that involves washing your hands every three minutes, you might feel pretty safe from the coronavirus.
But then you came across this article saying that the virus had been found on frozen seafood packaging, and you started to worry, because you ate some delicious frozen shrimp last week.
So, should you worry? Well, before we get into that, here’s what happened.
Coronavirus Found On Frozen Seafood Packaging in China
Chinese authorities have found the coronavirus on the packaging of imported frozen seafood that arrived from the port city of Dalian, reported Reuters.
The frozen seafood had been purchased by three companies in Yantai, with the Yantai government confirming that it was from an imported shipment from Dalian.
It didn’t, however, specify where the shipment originated.
The Yantai government added that some of the seafood had been processed for export, while the rest had been kept in cold storage and has not entered the market.
Wait, does this mean that the virus-laden packages have made their way to other countries?
When asked by Reuters if the seafood had been exported, the authorities declined to elaborate, referring Reuters to the Yantai city government statement.
Fortunately, everyone who handled the product has tested negative for Covid-19 and all are currently under quarantine.
Back in July, custom officers in Dalian found the coronavirus in the packaging of frozen shrimps imported from Ecuador.
China subsequently suspended imports from three Ecuadorean shrimp producers.
Does this mean we should avoid frozen seafood products, or any frozen foods, or any foods that come in packaging from now on?
Risk of Contracting Coronavirus From Food Packaging “Very Low”
Fortunately, the risk of contracting Covid-19 from food products, food packaging, or bags is “very low”, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The American health institute says no cases of Covid-19 that occurred by touching food, food packaging, or shopping bags have been identified.
The chances of being infected this way would be even lower if the packaging was shipped in over a long distance, said Professor Jin Dong-yan, a molecular virologist.
“After long-distance shipping, the activity of the virus will just go down and will not go up,” Jin said. “Shrimp and fish cannot support the growth of the virus. The virus cannot grow, replicate or multiply in those foods or packages, it will just stay there and die out.”
Similarly, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in April that there was no evidence of viruses like Covid-19 being transmitted through food or food packaging.
“Coronaviruses cannot multiply in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply,” it said.
Wipe Down Food Packaging
However, if you’re still concerned about potentially contracting the coronavirus through packaging, there are a couple of things you can do.
Wipe down any food packaging with disinfectant and wash your hands thoroughly before handling the package and its contents.
You can also regularly disinfect areas where food is frequently prepared or cooked just to be safe.