Fruit Shoot and oranges can’t test positive for Covid-19

30 July 2021
What was claimed

Fruit Shoot and oranges can test positive for Covid-19 using a lateral flow test.

Our verdict

No, they can’t. What looks like a positive test result is actually just the test breaking as a result of it being used incorrectly.

Posts on Facebook, viewed thousands of times, claim to show an orange and a Fruit Shoot drink testing positive for Covid-19 on a lateral flow test (LFT). 

This type of self-styled experiment has appeared on social media many times throughout the pandemic, and we’ve written extensively about them before—including specifically about oranges and fruit drinks

Food and drink can’t test positive for Covid-19. In reality, the pictures and videos on social media show these items breaking the LFTs, causing a second line to appear as though the tests were positive. 

The fact that these tests can be broken with food or drink does not make them inaccurate or unreliable for use in the general population. 

LFTs are unlikely to give a false positive result if used correctly.

Dr Alexander Edwards, associate professor in Biomedical Technology at the University of Reading, previously told Full Fact: “If you completely ignore the manufacturer’s instructions or in fact use the test for something completely different, then you shouldn’t really be surprised if you get a silly result.”

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because food and drink can’t test positive for Covid-19. Experiments purporting to prove otherwise actually just show people breaking the tests.

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