Haunted by the confirmed COVID-19 cases at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay factory in Beijing over the weekend, customers have been left in limbo as to whether they can still purchase their beloved potato chips, according to a news report by CGTN.
Feng Zijian, deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said there’s no evidence showing PepsiCo’s potato chips have been contaminated with the coronavirus.
“For dry foods like the chips, the virus can only last for a very short time under room temperature. Even if there’s a chance for infection, the virus has lost its activity,” Feng said during an interview with CCTV.
PepsiCo said all staff at its food factory in Beijing’s Daxing District are home isolating after eight COVID-19 infections were reported at the factory on Saturday.
All products made after the infection was detected among the workers have been sealed, and production has been suspended, the company confirmed in a statement late Sunday.
The Daxing plant, one of seven food factories owned by PepsiCo in China, only produces small batches of canned potato chips, the company said, adding that its beverage lines are not affected by the virus, and no cases have been discovered at its bottling plants.
Feng stressed that the coronavirus is not transmitted via food, but can be brought to food via contaminated hands.
“When people touch surfaces contaminated with pathogens and rub their eyes, scratch their nose, and touch their mouths afterward, it’s highly likely to contract the virus,” he said.
Source: Read the full CGTN report here