On October 19, 2020, Lily Kuo reported in a Guardian article about an investigation in which live SARS-CoV-2 virus was identified on frozen food packaging in China. The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention detected the virus particles on the packaging of frozen cod of unreported origin in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao. The reason for this investigation was a recent cluster of Covid cases in Qingdao, which included two dock workers. The Chinese authority stated that contact with outer food packaging may cause infections but could not confirm that the outbreak was linked to the handling of frozen goods. Already in August 2020, coronavirus particles were detected on frozen food and packaging in several Chinese cities (FPF reported).
On October 20, 2020, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) updated its questions and answers series on the transmission of the coronavirus via food and surfaces. The revision ammends the last version published on September 10, 2020 and contains more precise descriptions of the use of alcoholic hand disinfectants and of the infectivity of the coronavirus on solid and dry surfaces. The agency explains that until now there have been no proven cases of human infections from the virus through contact with contaminated surfaces. However, it maintains that this pathway cannot be entirely excluded.
More information related to the COVID-19 pandemic and packaging is available on the Food Packaging Forum’s resources page.
Lily Kuo (October 19, 2020). “Live coronavirus found on frozen food packaging in China.” The Guardian
BfR (October 20, 2020) “Kann das neuartige Coronavirus über Lebensmittel und Gegenstände übertragen werden?”