Food Safety

Study Shows COVID-19 Not Transmitted by Food


Several weeks ago, while food shopping, I noticed a sign above where eggs are sold asking shoppers not to open egg cartons (to check for broken eggs) as touching the carton could enhance the spread of the Corona Virus.  This inferred that the virus could be spread on packaging materials like an egg carton and this is only one such example of the many misconceptions about COVID 19 and its transmittal through food and food packaging.

We are grateful to be members of AFFI (American Frozen Food Institute) and applaud them for the latest study in partnership with North Carolina State University (NC State).  This recent study that took place from April to August 2020 was to understand the nature of survival and persistence of SARS-CoV-2 in foods, food contact surfaces and food packaging materials and the potential for foodborne transmission.” You can read the about the findings here at scientific literature review.

You’ll be happy to know that AFFI’s findings coincide with statements made by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) along with the FDA, USDA and WHO.  In short, there is NO scientific evidence in currently available literature to support the spread of SARS-CoV-2 through consumption of food or in association with food packaging, and no known cases of foodborne COVID-19.”  That last part is important – there are no known cases of foodborne COVID-19!

The food industry reacted quickly to the COVID-19 crisis, especially within the workforce at production level through adherence to GMPs (good manufacturing practices) such as maintaining a clean, hygienic manufacturing facility, good sanitation practices, controlled environmental conditions to prevent cross-contamination and validation of critical operations and processes.   Workers are monitored regularly for illness and sent home if illness is found; strict physical distancing guidelines and the use of face masks and coverings or shields is enforced; emphasis is placed on proper and frequent hand washings, using alcohol-based sanitizers, no handling of food without gloves and frequent cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces and equipment. Outside visitors are not permitted entry to most food processing facilities at this time.

Signage shows that an essential business has restricted access during the Covid 19 lockdown in New Zealand, March 2020 (Signage shows that an essential business has restricted access during the Covid 19 lockdown in New Zealand, March 2020, ASCII, 119

Here is what is important to remember: The FDA reiterates, currently there is no evidence of food being associated with the virus.  At the time of this writing, the risk of disease transmission by foodborne routes is so remote as to be considered inconsequential compared to the wide reach of community spread as we are currently experiencing.” 

What then of recent reports from China claiming to find COVID-19 on imported food packaging?  The methodology used to detect it (as reported from China) has not been publicly released or published and the specific results have not been released either.  This makes it impossible for the scientific community to check the validity of the reports of contamination on food packaging.

The primary mode of transmission of this virus continues to be person to person via aerosols and associated droplets laden with the virus from an infected individual. This is a respiratory transmission not a foodborne illness.  

Lily Noon


  1. FAQs About CoV-2 and Food Transmission, AFFI
  2. COVID-19 FAQs, FDA

Chinese cities find coronavirus in frozen food imports, WHO downplays infection risk, Reuters




米国の食品業界は、新型コロナウイルス感染症の危機にすばやく対応しました。特に、生産に携わる作業員がGMP(Good Manufacturing Practice)を徹底して、製造施設を清潔かつ衛生的に保ち、正しい衛生手順を実践し、環境条件を管理して交差汚染を予防し、重要な業務の体制とプロセスを検証しました。作業員は定期的に健康状態をモニターされていて、病状が発見された場合は、出勤停止となります。物理的な距離のガイドラインも厳密に適用されていて、マスクやフェイスシールドが義務付けられているほか、頻繁かつ適切な手洗い、アルコール消毒、食品に触れる際の手袋着用、食品と接触する表面や機器の頻繁な清掃と消毒が励行されています。現時点で、外部からの訪問者が食品の加工処理現場に立ち入ることは、ほとんどの場合、認められていません。


では、輸入食品のパッケージに新型コロナウイルスが見つかったと主張する最近の中国からの報告は、何を意味するのでしょうか? 中国はウイルスを検出したとしていますが、その際に使われた方法は公表されておらず、具体的な結果も発表されていません。このため、食品のパッケージが汚染されていたとする報告の有効性を科学的に確認することは不可能です。


Lily Noon


  1. FAQs About CoV-2 and Food Transmission(新型コロナウイルスと食品感染についてのよくある質問)、AFFI
  2. COVID-19 FAQs(新型コロナウイルス感染症についてのよくある質問)、FDA

Chinese cities find coronavirus in frozen food imports, WHO downplays infection risk(中国の複数の都市で輸入冷凍食品からコロナウイルス検出、WHOは感染を軽視)、ロイター通信


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