Food safety: Study probes inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by disinfectants
24 Oct 2022 --- Concerns over food safety have been raised since the seafood market in Wuhan, China, was identified as the initial source of SARS-CoV-2. During the pandemic, food safety has been underscored in general and now a new study examines SARS-CoV-2 viability on food items at different temperatures.
During the COVID-19 pandemic there has been continued concern over the link between SARS-CoV-2 transmission and food. However, there are few studies on the viability and removal of SARS-CoV-2 contaminating food.
Now a new study aims to evaluate the viability of SARS-CoV-2 on food matrices, depending on storage temperature, and inactivate the virus contaminating food using disinfectants.
What happened during the study?
Two SARS-CoV-2 strains (L and S types) were used to contaminate lettuce, chicken, and salmon, which were then stored at 20,4 and −40 °C.
The half-life of SARS-CoV-2 at 20 °C was 3–7 hours but increased to 24–46 hours at 4 °C and exceeded 100 hours at −40 °C. SARS-CoV-2 persisted longer on chicken or salmon than on lettuce.
Treatment with 70% ethanol for one min inactivated 3.25 log reduction of SARS-CoV-2 inoculated on lettuce but not on chicken and salmon.
ClO2 inactivated up to 2 log reduction of SARS-CoV-2 on foods while peracetic acid was able to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 from all foods.
The virucidal effect of all disinfectants used in this study did not differ between the two SARS-CoV-2 strains; therefore, they could also be effective against other SARS-CoV-2 variants.
This study demonstrated that the viability of SARS-CoV-2 can be extended at 4 and −40 °C and peracetic acid can inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on food matrices.
The study was published in the Food Microbiology journal.
Edited by Gaynor Selby
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