China Study Still Blames Frozen Food As Carrier Of COVID Virus
According to a new paper published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC), frozen food from meat-and poultry-processing plants or markets can be contaminated with the COVID-19 virus, reiterating a long-debunked claim that Beijing promoted to blame imported frozen food for the pandemic that began in a Wuhan market where imported food is rare.
Photo Insert: Fish, poultry meat, and other foods accounted for 53.86 percent (753 out of 1,398 swabs), 37.91 percent (530 swabs), and 8.23 percent (115 swabs), respectively.
According to Nurul Ain Razali of FoodNavigator-Asia.com, the CCDC is ostensibly an autonomous agency of the National Health Commission, yet it strangely falls under the Ministry of Agriculture's supervision.
These findings were emphasized in research prepared by Li Fengqin and published in the China CDC Weekly titled "Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 Contamination in Frozen Food-Related Samples — China, July 2020 – July 2021."
Between July 2020 and July 2021, the researchers collected and evaluated approximately 55 million swabs of imported and domestic cold-chain items, as well as their exterior or inner packaging, during slaughter, manufacture and processing, storage, transit, and retail. Human swabs and environmental samples were also taken.
Over 20 million swabs were collected from cold-chain food and packaging materials. The remaining swabs were environmental and nasopharyngeal. A total of 1,455 samples (0.26 per 10,000) were found to contain SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid. Swabs of food and food packaging materials, as well as environmental samples, made up 96.41 percent and 3.59 percent of the virus-positive samples, respectively.
The study shows that the Chinese handled the packaging materials because they were not tested upon arrival. Covid 19 viruses do not fly and have a difficult time adhering to food at freezing temperatures.
99.5 percent (1,391 swabs) of the 1,398 COVID-19-positive food and food packaging material samples were imported, whereas 0.50 percent (seven swabs) were domestic. Food, interior packaging, and outside packaging accounted for 18.6% (260 swabs), 2.65% (37 swabs), and 78.75 percent (1,101 swabs) of the positive samples, respectively.
Furthermore, fish, poultry meat, and other foods accounted for 53.86 percent (753 out of 1,398 swabs), 37.91 percent (530 swabs), and 8.23 percent (115 swabs), respectively. SARS-CoV-2 infection was most likely in aquatic items, followed by chicken.
The contamination of outer packaging by SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid was far more common and severe than contamination of inner packaging and food itself. Tianjin, Yunnan, Zhejiang, and Fujian were the top-ranked cities with SARS-CoV-2 detection rates greater than two per 10,000 people.
Positive samples, on the other hand, were exported from 11 European countries, nine Asian countries, six South American countries, North America, and two African countries. These findings imply that SARS-CoV-2-contaminated food chain products and containers could be a source of infection for workers who come into contact with them.