Covid: is freezing an effective solution to kill the virus?

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 12 January 2021 at 19h20 · Updated on 13 January 2021 at 12h21
You may have a lot of questions about Covid. Sortiraparis editorial board tries to answer them. And today, we look at a topic regularly rising as for food and methods to get rid of the virus: is freezing an effective solution to kill Covid-19?

The current situation with the Covid pandemic has us worried and make you have a lot of questions in order to protect yourselves and people around you as well as possible from Covid-19. This is why Sortiraparis editorial board tries to answer questions you might have, and today we look at a topic focusing on food and freezing as a way to kill the virus. Can cold eradicate coronavirus? What should you do to forearms yourselves from the virus before freezing food? We tell you everything.

To answer the first question, it is a big no: cold and freezing do not inactivate the virus, as explains Stéphane Gayet, infectious disease specialist at Strasbourg university hospital, to Le Parisien: “It is an illusion and confusion linked to the fact that extreme cold destroys bacteria” he says. He adds that on the contrary, “freezing preserves the virus”. Bruno Grandbastien – doctor and head of the Société française d'hygiène hospitalière [French Hospital Hygiene Society] – agrees and also explains to Le Parisien: “freezing does not destroy the virus; it is the very way of preservation in laboratory”.

Therefore, before freezing food, you better wash it, cook it, or heat it up in the microwave, as recommended by the ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupation Health & Safety) in a release issued on March 11, 2020: “by analogy with other known coronaviruses, this virus is sensitive to cooking temperatures. Therefore, heat treatment up to 63°C for four minutes enable to divide contaminating another food product by 10,000”.

As for packages – on which the virus can survive for a few hours – it is useless to pop them into the freezer to get rid of the virus. It is recommended to wash them with water if package must be kept (plastic containers and other freezable containers), or you can throw them away.

Practical information

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