WHO Reiterates Coronavirus Does not Spread via Food


Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19 infection. World Health Organization (WHO) reiterated its previous stance that there is no evidence to suggest the novel coronavirus can be passed along through food.

The risk of getting COVID-19 from food you cook yourself or from handling and consuming food from restaurants and takeaway meals is thought to be very low. Currently, there is no evidence that food is associated with spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. No cases of COVID-19 have been identified where the infection was thought to have occurred by touching food, food packaging or shopping bags.

There is no evidence that food or the food chain is participating in transmission of this virus, WHO Health Emergencies Program Executive Director Mike Ryan said during a press conference. “I think people are already scared enough, fearful enough, in the pandemic. It’s important that we track findings like this. And it’s important that we don’t discount scientific evidence where we find it, but it’s also important that people can go about their daily lives without fear. People should not fear food or food packaging or processing or delivery of food. Food is very important.”

The WHO posted the same information on its website in May, 2020.


But questions were raised again after routine inspections of food in three Chinese cities detected the virus. The virus was found in chicken and some seafood imported from Brazil and Ecuador. However, according to WHO officials, Chinese authorities have tested a few hundred thousand samples of frozen food and discovered very very few positives. That is not at all alarming.

The virus that causes COVID-19 has not been found in drinking water either.
So the impression should not be created that there’s a problem with our food or there’s a problem with our food chain. Otherwise, it will create fear, confusion and chaos among masses.

Experts say, “Coronaviruses spreads mostly via person-to-person through respiratory droplets when someone coughs, sneezes, or talks. It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, including food or food packaging, that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

It is always important to follow good hygiene and good food safety practices to reduce the risk of illness from common foodborne pathogens. After shopping, handling food packages, or before preparing or eating food, it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them. Do not wash produce with soap, bleach, sanitizer, alcohol, disinfectant or any other chemical. Gently rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under cold running tap water. Avoid buying cut fruits or vegetables from market.

Following safety guidelines will go a long way in containing the spread of coronavirus infection.

Stay safe, stay healthy!