COVID-19: Food Industry and Food Safety

According to multiple health and safety organizations worldwide, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the European Food Safety Authority, there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 has spread through food or food packaging. Previous coronavirus epidemics, likewise, showed no evidence of having been spread through food or packaging.

According to the CDC, 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.

Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness and not gastrointestinal illness, and foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.  It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. That’s why it’s always critical to follow the four key steps of food safety—clean, separate, cook, and chill.

Food Banks

Food Safety

Food Service

According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, restaurants and retail food establishments are regulated at the state and local level. State, local and tribal regulators use the Food Code published by the FDA to develop or update their own food safety rules. Generally, FDA-regulated food manufacturers are required to maintain clean facilities, including, as appropriate, to clean and sanitize food contact surfaces and to have food safety plans in place. Food safety plans include a hazards analysis and risk-based preventive controls and procedures for maintaining clean and sanitized facilities and food contact surfaces. FSMA Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food.

Grocery Stores

Iowa-specific Information