For what I read [1], Covid19 can persist active in a common freezer for months or years (it seems pretty obvious: cold, humid...). My question does not regard only the currently active coronavirus at this posting date, but any.

So, I imagine that if the surface of a bottle or bag is contaminated, taking it, a month later will start the spreading mechanism, don't know, hands, surfaces, face, etc. And the virus will spread internally in the refrigerator, given that common refrigerators have channels that spill drops which flow through the cold and warm refrigerating sections. Or internal ventilators.

Under such perspective, a common refrigerator would act moreover as a Petri dish. Completely different from the rest of house surfaces, which would allow viruses vanishing way more faster.

If that is so, is it possible to clean a fridge from coronavirus? Do common refrigerators increase the risk of propagation?

[1] https://www.globalsecurity.org/security/ops/hsc-scen-3-coronavirus-3.htm (..."COVID-19 coronavirus could last up to two years at below freezing temperatures")

[2] https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/coronavirus-information/about-novel-coronavirus-2019/will-the-coronavirus-survive-in-the-refrigerator-or-freezer ("it is also expected that the virus would survive being frozen")


1 Answer 1


Since the virus replicates via human cells, how do you expect it to proliferate inside a refrigerator? And if you had human tissue (lungs, hearts, kidney, bowel) in your fridge, it still needs to be alive to proliferate as it hijacks the living cells intra-cellular machinery.

So, you're not going to get any more virus out than you put in. Therefore if you disinfect before you put it into the fridge, you won't get any virus out.

If you're talking about the infected deceased coming out of the mortuary fridge

There is no evidence so far of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the handling of bodies of deceased persons. The potential risk of transmission related to the handling of bodies of deceased persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 is considered low and can be related to:
* direct contact with human remains or bodily fluids where the virus is present
* direct contact with contaminated fomites.

As viable SARS-CoV-2 may persist on surfaces for days [7], there is the possibility that the virus also persists on deceased bodies. Therefore, unnecessary contact with bodies should be minimised by those not wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). Those in direct contact with deceased cases of COVID-19 (both suspected or confirmed) should be protected from exposure to infected bodily fluids, contaminated objects, or other contaminated environmental surfaces through wearing of appropriate PPE. Minimum requirements include gloves and a long-sleeved water-resistant gown.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.