A routine food inspection in northeastern China has revealed coronavirus-tainted ice cream, HuffPost reports. Three samples of ice cream produced by the Tiajin Daqiaodao Food Company, a maker of frozen food products, were found to have traces of the virus. The tested flavors were chocolate, strawberry, and taro. Now, the company’s 1,662 employees have been tested for COVID-19 and are in quarantine, per Fox News. Officials believe that nearly 5,000 cartons of ice cream could have been contaminated, according to reports.
More than half of those had been distributed before the positive test results; consumers in China have been alerted. The remaining ice cream has been locked away. “It’s probably a one-off,” virologist Stephen Griffin tells Sky News, saying that the ice cream was likely unknowingly contaminated by an infected person. The freezing temperature of the ice cream, along with its fat content, may explain why the virus was able to survive on the samples, he says. The good news: “We probably don't need to panic that every bit of ice cream is suddenly going to be contaminated with coronavirus,” Griffin says. (Read more coronavirus stories.)