Three Chinese cities have reported detecting coronavirus on imported frozen food, sparking worries that contaminated shipments could give rise to new outbreaks, NBC News reports. But the New York Times adds that it is unlikely that anyone will catch COVID-19 from frozen food.
According to NBC News, health officials in the cities of Wuhu, Yantai, and Shenzhen have found traces of coronavirus on imported frozen seafood and chicken. It adds that officials in Shenzhen have cautioned residents to take care in purchasing imported frozen foods, but also that it had tested individuals who were in contact with the shipment and all tested negative.
Columbia University's Angela Rasmussen tells the Times that "[t]his means somebody probably handled those chicken wings who might have had the virus. But it doesn't mean, 'Oh my god, nobody buy any chicken wings because they're contaminated.'"
The Times notes that tests for SARS-CoV-2 typically detect viral RNA and the results don't mean there was live virus on the frozen products. It adds that if it were, "an extraordinarily unusual series of events would need to occur for the virus to be transmitted."