Food & Food Packaging Is Unlikely to Spread COVID-19
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a press release yesterday underscoring the international consensus that no credible evidence shows that food or food packaging is a source of viral transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The press release highlights a September 2020 opinion from the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods that stated, “Despite the billions of meals and food packages handled since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, to date there has not been any evidence that food, food packaging or food handling is a source or important transmission route for SARS-CoV-2 resulting in COVID-19.” This consensus is consistent with literature reviews and research in other countries, and the fact that in the 100 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, no epidemiological evidence suggests food or food packaging is a source of transmission to humans.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) together with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have provided guidance for food manufacturers to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 between workers. These guidelines complement the USDA and FDA food safety requirements that all U.S. food manufacturers must follow, such as the current Good Manufacturing Practices and preventative controls that focus on good hygiene practices and worker safety.