1 1 (July 09, 2020)

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               Researh Sevki






Food Safety and COVID-19



July 9, 2020
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is thought to spread mainly from person to person through
respiratory droplets produced when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or speaks. Currently there is no
evidence indicating the transmission of COVID-19 through food, according to U.S. and international
public health agencies. However, China-a maj or U.S. agricultural export market-has reportedly started
to institute requirements to address COVID-19-related concerns about the safety of imported food, which
could impact global agricultural trade.

Evidence of Food Safety Risk
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states there is no evidence to
suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) states that the agency is not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that
suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. USDA further indicates there is no
evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food imported to the United States from
other countries. While there may be the potential for transmission through contaminated surfaces-for
example, if someone with an active infection coughs on packaging later touched by a noninfected person
who then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth-the risk of such transmission is low, according to the CDC.
To avoid transfer through contaminated surfaces, it is necessary to follow good hygiene practices.
At food production facilities, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an agency of the Department of
Health and Human Services, asserts the need to take necessary precautions to protect workers and
minimize the disease transmission, including practicing social distancing and disinfecting surfaces, as
well as ensuring workers have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves.
While some labeling requirements have been temporarily relaxed to provide regulatory flexibility to food
producers related to COVID-19 (for example, certain food nutrition labeling requirements, packaging and
labeling requirements for shell eggs, and menu labeling requirements), U.S. food safety standards and
requirements have otherwise remained in effect. Because of the ongoing crisis, however, some facility
inspections have been delayed or rescheduled. For the meat and poultry industries, CDC and the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration have issued guidance outlining steps that meatpacking
and meat processing workers and employers should follow to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
There is also a consensus among international organizations that COVID- 19 transmission is not
associated with food and food consumption. The World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the

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