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Shëndeti

Experts confirm, the infectious Covid virus can stay in some foods for days

Experts confirm, the infectious Covid virus can stay in some foods for days

The Covid virus can stay in some food or ready-to-eat food for days, UK experts have confirmed.

Scientists carried out tests for the Food Standards Agency (FSA), deliberately leaving the virus in packaging and food products, mainly foods that people can consume without cooking or washing such as apples, peppers, cheese, ham, olives, bread with crust and croissants. The packaging tested included beverage bottles, cartons and cans.

The risk to consumers remains very low, they say.

For most food products tested there was a 'significant drop' in virus levels within the first 24 hours. But in some cases the traces survived for about a week, writes the BBC.

"For a highly infectious agent like Sars-Cov-2, which can be transmitted through touching contaminated surfaces and then the face, these findings are very important," say the experts.

They add that there is no need for shoppers to take additional precautions when consuming the food, other than washing hands before preparing and eating it, and washing produce.

The amount of virus they applied is the same as the cough of someone infected with Covid.

Food tests

Fresh fruits and vegetables

The virus seems to last longer in produce with rough surfaces, broccoli and raspberries, than in smooth-skinned ones like apples (although some fresh, chilled peppers had detectable virus a week later).

Apples contain natural chemicals in their skin that can start breaking down the Covid virus within minutes or hours, scientists say.

Burmese

The pastries carried little virus after a few hours, possibly because they are coated with a thin layer of egg wash during baking, FSA scientists say. Eggs contain arachidonic acid which can have an antiviral effect.

Dairy / Meat

Cheese and cold meats, with a high protein and fat content, allow the virus to survive for days, perhaps a week.