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
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Answers to common questions regarding Food Safety and COVID-19
- Environmental Protection Agency's approved list of disinfectants/sanitizers to use during the COVID-19 outbreak. List does NOT include ‘sanidate’, a common sanitizer used in farms. In addition, the EPA also has guidelines for how to effectively use these sanitizers, including paying attention to kill times and the porosity of the surface you are disinfecting.
- Iowa Department of Public Health Cleaning and Disinfecting Fact Sheet; guidelines for cleaning surfaces, linens and routine cleanings; applies to tables, high touch points, card machines and other surfaces
- Iowa Beef Center
- Iowa Pork Industry Center
- Iowa Poultry Association
- The Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University is providing educational guides and direct support for our clients to help them plan, prepare, protect, and recover their operations. We’ve created a COVID-19 website with guides, checklists and links to trusted resources to help protect your business, respond to supply chain disruptions, understand workforce changes and more. If you need help, CIRAS’s response team is monitoring firstname.lastname@example.org and will respond within 24 hours.