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While social distances around the world coronavirus pandemic it is difficult to completely disconnect with regards to our food. At some point, the meals we receive from the grocery store, the take-out counter at the restaurant or the farmers’ market can be taken care of by someone infected with the virus, but can they be transmitted through food? ?
Although there are many unknowns with the new virus, there is no evidence of transmission of COVID-19 through food or packaging, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main spread of the virus is person-to-person, including droplets that stay in the air after a sneeze or cough.
“Unlike food-borne gastrointestinal viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A, which often make people sick from food contamination, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus which causes respiratory illnesses. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission, ” FDA said.
However, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Harvard Medical School, the virus could be spread by an infected infection worker who does not wash their hands properly after using the toilet.
“The virus that causes COVID-19 has also been detected in the stools of some people,” said Harvard. “So, we cannot currently rule out the possibility that the infection may be transmitted through food by an infected person who has not washed their hands thoroughly.”
The virus would also likely be killed by cooking, but room-temperature foods like salads or sandwiches could potentially school said.
Benjamin Chapman, professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, told Live Science that the virus is unlikely to survive digestion due to the acidity of the stomach.
The virus also cannot live on imported food packaging, according to the FDA, adding that it could only survive on a surface for a short period of time, which, depending on the surface, could last anywhere from a few hours to a few. days.
The virus can spread if someone touches their eyes or mouth after touching a contaminated surface, says the CDC, but it is not believed to be the main source of transmission.
Despite the unlikely spread of food, restaurant and grocery store workers use enhanced food safety measures, including frequent hand washing, cleaning surfaces and utensils, cooking food at the right temperature and keeping food safe. home when they feel sick, according to Live Science.
“It’s not that it’s not possible,” Chapman told Live Science. “There is always that possibility. But I want to make the best risk management decision based on the best science and the best evidence, and we just don’t have any evidence” of transmission through food.
“One of the advantages we have in the food world is that we already think a lot about these things – we are constantly trying to stay away from the transmission of foodborne pathogens in normal and regular times,” said Chapman. Live Science.