Can COVID-19 Be Transmitted Through Food?

Now that we are all on Quarantine, it is important to look at our risk assessment. What are the most likely ways that we could come into contact with the Coronavirus? That answer is certainly direct contact with someone with COVID. That is why quarantine and self-isolation are so important during this Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020.

However, an indirect route that has been running on social media and as a rumor, is that COVID can be passed through our food from restaurants and such. Have you heard this?  Are you worried about your food?  Take a look at the answer below!

Question: Can COVID-19 Be Transmitted Through Food?

This rumor is completely false. COVID-19, as far as we know, cannot be transmitted through food.

There have been some questions about COVID being passed in food.  Here are some of the articles showing that food is not currently believed to be a vector for COVID transmission.

FDA –   https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

In the above article, the FDA has stated, “Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Therefore, we do not believe there is a need to conduct environmental testing in food settings for the virus that causes COVID 19 for the purpose of food safety. Cleaning and sanitizing the surfaces is a better use of resources than testing to see if the virus is present.”

CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/newsletter/food-safety-and-Coronavirus.html

The CDC also stated in the above website, “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food, it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day, wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

Where is the Greatest Risk?

1.)  Person-to-Person Contact with a COVID individual

2.)  Public Groupings – When many people converge – there is a greater risk of transmission – several individuals could be affected at the same time

3.)  Public Events – Restrooms and other areas where high traffic areas

4.)  Indirect Contact – Surfaces, papers, etc

Recommendations

CDC recommends everyday preventive actions for everyone, including service industry workers and customers:

–  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
–  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
–  Stay home when you are sick.
–  Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
–  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
–  If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Conclussion

The risk of Coronavirus needs to be taken seriously. If you are not self-quarantining as much as possible, you are increasing not only your risk but those around you. But, rest assured, food is not a cause for concern for the transmission of the COVID virus. If you are an essential worker – still limit your association with others and large gatherings.

Above and most important, wash your hands, limit your exposure, and keep healthy.

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