COVID-19: Food Industry and Food Safety

According to multiple health and safety organizations worldwide, including 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.

Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no current evidence or reported cases in the United States to support transmission of COVID-19 from imported goods.

Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses such as 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 Safety Resources

Iowa-specific Information