COVID-19 and Food Safety FAQ

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question: IS CORONAVIRUS A FOOD SAFETY ISSUE?

answer: CDC and USDA 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 frigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.

question: IS FOOD IMPORTED FROM COUNTRIES AND STATES AFFECTED BY COVID-19 AT RISK OF SPREADING COVID-19?

answer: 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.

question: IF AN EMPLOYEE AT A FOOD ESTABLISHMENT BECAME INFECTED WITH CORONAVIRUS, WOULD THE FOOD PRODUCED AT THAT FACILITY BE SAFE TO EAT?

answer: Food establishment personnel who are ill with COVID-19 or any other illness should be excluded from work activities that could create unsanitary conditions (i.e. 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.

question: CAN I GET SICK WITH COVID-19 FROM TOUCHING FOOD, THE FOOD PACKAGING, OR FOOD CONTACT SURFACES, IF THE CORONAVIRUS WAS PRESENT ON IT?

answer: Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Coronaviruses need a living host (animal or human) to grow in and cannot grow in food. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects.

question: HOW SHOULD FOOD BE HANDLED DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?

answer: As always, follow good hygiene and food safety practices when preparing food:Purchase food from reputable sources Cook food thoroughly and maintain
safe holding temperatures Use good personal hygiene Clean and sanitize surfaces and equipment

Additional information about COVID-19 and food safety