Food Safety During Coronavirus

Posted: June 18, 2020

Public health and food safety experts do not have any evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging.

The USDA provides this information pertaining to food safety during coronavirus:

Q: Can I become sick with coronavirus (COVID-19) from food?

A: We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.

Q: Is food imported to the United States from China and other countries affected by COVID-19 at risk of spreading COVID-19?

A: Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.

Q: Can I get sick with COVID-19 from touching food, the food packaging, or food contact surfaces, if the coronavirus was present on it?

A: Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. For that reason, it is critical to follow the four key steps of food safety — clean, separate, cook, and chill.

Q: If an inspector or worker in a meat processing plant became infected with coronavirus, would the meat produced at that facility be safe to eat?

A: Public health and food safety experts do not have any evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. FSIS in-plant personnel who are ill with COVID-19 or any other illness will be excluded from work activities that could create unsanitary conditions (coughing or sneezing on product). COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets that can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. More information about how the virus spread is available from the CDC (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html).     

Source: USDA, https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus/food-supply-chain


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