No, you can’t kill the novel coronavirus in your freezer.

Coronaviruses are sensitive to hot temperatures and will definitely die in the washing machine, dishwasher, or in boiling water (212°F, 100°C). But what about freezing cold? Unfortunately, you probably can’t kill the novel coronavirus in your freezer.

Doctors have not tried freezing this new coronavirus specifically, but they have put similar viruses into refrigerators and freezers to see what happens. A similar coronavirus and the original SARS virus didn’t seem to mind the cold, even down to 0°F, (-18°C). In other words, cold temperatures do not kill coronaviruses.

So far, the FDA is not worried that food packaging or containers get people sick with COVID-19. Even still, it makes sense to follow the CDC guidelines on frequent hand washing and disinfecting surfaces, including washing your hands after putting away groceries, handling food packaging, before preparing food, and before eating.

Last updated April 2, 2020 at 2:00 PM ET
Science review: GSN, ERS