Study finds 'concerning' survival of coronavirus on meat products

A new study has "concerning" results on how well SARS-CoV-2 surrogates survive on refrigerated and frozen meat products.

Conducted by Emily S. Bailey, Marina Curcic and Mark D. Sobsey, the research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. It studied how well three SARS-CoV-2 surrogates survived on beef, pork, chicken and salmon products that were refrigerated and frozen over a 30-day period.

Across that time, all the viruses survived "at high concentrations," although survival rates depended on food product and temperature. "But overall," the researchers wrote, "viruses survived for extended periods of time at high concentrations at both refrigerated and frozen temperatures."

The researchers concluded that virus' survival "emphasizes the need for rigorous and sustained food sanitation and hygiene in the harvest, transport, processing and distribution of these foods."

Areas of necessary sanitation, the researchers wrote, include food processing surfaces, worker hands and processing utensils such as knives.

“There is a need to better address the lack of or inadequate disinfection of these foods prior to meat packaging,” the researchers added.

Par: Peter Thomas Ricci (05/07/2022)