The Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios (OCU) carried out a study to check if supermarket products have signs of Covid-19 contamination. They don’t.
Using PCR methods (Coronavirus testing: Polymerase Chain Reaction) they tested the surfaces of 66 product brands in different supermarkets.
They visited ten supermarkets and eight food distribution chains: Alcampo, Carrefour, Condis, Dia, Eroski, Lidl, Mercadona y Supercor, in four different cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Vitoria y La Coruña.
In each they selected 66 types of food belonging to different brand names, including flour, bars of chocolate, bags of crisps, loaves of bread, cans of beer, apples, yoghurts, mixed salads in bags, ready-made omelettes, meat in individual polystyrene trays wrapped in cling film, smoked salmon and toilet paper.
All of these products are sold in cardboard, plastic, polystyrene, tinfoil etc, and have been in increasing demand during the Lock Down but are difficult to efficiently clean; bags of crisps, for example.
All 66 product types were tested in an independent laboratory using the PCR technique; i.e., using a cotton bud to take samples in search of RNA (ribonucleic acid) genetic material. This method even detects dead or inactive virus deposited quite a while ago.
The result has been a complete negative; no Covid-19 genetic material was uncovered at all. The OCU, however, points out that this is only a narrow snapshot of all the food out there being sold across the land in supermarkets. But what it does show is that it is not so easy for the virus to be left on the surface of food packaging to be picked up by shoppers and for them to become infected.