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Study Finds SARS-CoV-2 Virus Can Survive on Some Food Surfaces

woman cutting carrot

Findings from a new study, which was conducted by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the United Kingdom to determine whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive on food and food packaging, found evidence that survival of the virus varied depended on the type of foods and food packaging examined.1

In 2020, it was determined that the primary route of transmission for SARS-CoV-2 is inhalation of contaminated respiratory droplets or aerosols from symptomatic patients produced during breathing, talking, coughing and sneezing in indoor areas.2 Researchers had speculated that SARS-CoV-2 may be able to spread via direct contact with droplet-contaminated surfaces known as fomites, possibly resulting in the virus being transferred from the hand to the eyes, nose and mouth.3

FSA officials conducted a risk assessment, which concluded that it was very unlikely that you could contract SARS-CoV-2 via food. The assessment weighed in the worst-case assumption that if food were contaminated during production, no significant inactivation of virus would occur prior to consumption. However, the rate of inactivation of the virus on products at various temperatures was unclear.4 As a result, the FSA was commissioned to conduct a study to measure the rate of inactivation of the virus on the surface of various types of food and food packaging.5

Researchers Artificially Contaminated Food Products to Measure Virus Survival

The study involved artificially contaminating the surfaces of foods and food packaging with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The virus was added to the foods and food packaging at a volume that represents respiratory droplets landing on surfaces. The researchers measured the amount of infectious virus on those surfaces over a period of time to determine if there was any decline.6

The sample of the foods tested were selected because the food are either sold as loose items on grocery store shelves; are uncovered at deli counters or open markets; are difficult to wash and are often consumed without being cooked. The food packaging materials were selected based on whether they are the most used food packaging materials, or whether consumption of the product in the package could involve direct mouth contact with the packaging. They were studied at various temperatures over time periods.7

Results Showed Survival of Virus Is Dependent on Type of Food and Packaging

The findings of the study showed that, for most of the foods tested, there was a significant decline in levels of virus survival and contamination over the first twenty-four hours. Some of the significant findings of the study include that SARS-CoV-2 survives on broccoli for the longest time – up to five days – at an ambient temperature of 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit. On peppers, the virus survives for the longest period of time – up to seven days-  at the chill temperature of 42.8 degrees.8

The study found that skin of an apple can partially inactivate SARS-CoV-2 within 60 minutes of contact, suggesting that there are chemicals in apples that have antiviral properties. It is known that an apple skin contains flavonoids, catechin, procyanidin, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid, all of which have strong antibacterial properties.9

The results also showed that under some conditions, virus inactivation was slower on white bread crusts than on whole wheat bread crusts. Researchers speculate that it could be due the presence of inhibitory substances, such as arabinoxylan present in the higher levels of fiber found in whole wheat bread. In addition, white bread has extra processing with bleaching agents, which could potentially inhibit virus inactivation as well.10

The findings showed that deli items high in protein and saturated fat with a relatively high-water content, such as cheddar cheese and sliced ham, have a longer SARS-CoV-2 virus survival time of up to seven days, which makes proper food handling important to prevent any contamination by the virus prior to consumption.11

Risk of Transmission Through Food is Very Low

Anthony Wilson, microbiological risk assessment team leader at the FSA said:

In the early stages of the pandemic, we didn’t know much about how the virus would survive on different food surfaces and packaging, so the risk assessment was based on a worst-case assumption.

Wilson added:

This research gives us additional insight into the stability of coronavirus on the surfaces of a variety of foods and confirms that assumptions we made in the early stages of the pandemic were appropriate, and that the probability that you can catch COVID via food is very low.12


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9 Responses

  1. It’s my understanding that the “virus” has never been isolated, only a computer model- how it the world can ANY of this be true? Have you listened to Dr Thomas Cowan, Dr Kaufman?

    Do you know The truth about the Germ Theory?? (Pasteur was a fraud, revoking his own germ theory before death, who spiked his solutions with poison because he could never reproduce infection in humans). As long as everyone continues along believing the lies, the fear continues and big pharma controls the masses.

  2. Thank God for the intelligent ones thatve paid attention like Ms.Jill above me! That’s exactly RIGHT Jill,thankyou.I thought I was the only one going around trying to sink this in in comments everywhere.

  3. Which “virus” is this author even talking about? The one that doesn’t exist. OH, OKAY! Now it makes sense!

    Don’t these people ever mention the facts about the 5G networks, toxic pills and the overall toxic load that people are exposed to 24/7 every day of their life as a major cause?

    Two words…controlled opposition pop to mind.

  4. THE REFERENCED STUDY DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE IN PUB-MED NOR IN THE PRE-PRINT SERVERS. IS THIS STUDY BEING CITED? IF SO, FROM WHERE?

  5. I don’t understand the verb “survive” being applied to something which, as I understand it, are not alive, not living things. Also the term “inactivation” as how are viruses/virions ( they seem to not distinguish) active? Perhaps, accepting that viruses exist and are capable of being replicated by cells (some or all cells?), retaining replicability is better?

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