Can COVID-19 be passed on through food?

Diet with MANSi - Antwerp Dietician

In these unprecedented times, understanding how the COVID-19 is transmitted and knowing the specifics is of prime importance.

Proper cooking will destroy the coronavirus.

Even if it is ingested, in theory, this type of virus should not survive well in the acidic environment of the stomach.

Food safety experts also say produce should be washed only with water and not household dish soap

While the coronavirus is not thought to be transmissible via food, it can live for several days on materials used to package food. Preliminary research shows it can survive on cardboard for 24 hours and on plastic for 72 hours. But the amount of the virus also quickly declines during that time period.

Infectious diseases expert Dr. Abdu Sharkawy tells CTV News Ottawa, “While the coronavirus can find its way onto surfaces, it’s important to know that it does not aerosolize on most surfaces, meaning that you’re not going to inhale it off of the grocery bag, or box of cereal.”

Dr. Sharkawy adds that washing your hands before and after handling your groceries is the most important thing you can do.

“If you’re going to become infected by this, you’re going to have to touch one of those surfaces with your hands and then introduce that to your eyes, mouth, or nose.”

But there is no harm in wiping your groceries down.

“If your anxiety is going to be relieved by taking a few minutes to wipe down the exterior of anything that you’re handling, by all means go ahead.”

Can COVID-19 be passed on through food?

No reported cases of COVID-19 have been linked to contamination of food. The main risk of transmission is from close contact with infected people.

Are there any precautions to take when preparing food at home?

The biggest tip to keep in mind when cooking at home is to wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds as often as possible and don’t prepare food for others if you’re showing symptoms, unless it’s absolutely necessary to do so. Cleaning work surfaces and maintaining hygiene.

Wash your hands well after putting away all packaging, including paper boxes and bags. It all boils down to hand hygiene!

To protect you and your family from COVID-19: limit your visits to the grocery store, and it should only be one person per household doing the shopping.

If possible, you can place the non-perishable items where, you’re not going to touch them for a few days. Like leaving it in your carboot or your kelder.

For takeaway meals, it is wise to empty the contents on a clean dish and discard off the paper and plastic packaging. Wash your hands for the umpteenth time before digging in with a spoon/fork ideally.

Is there a risk with food products or ingredients which are imported from an affected country/region?

No, even if surfaces or packaging have been contaminated, the virus will only survive on such surfaces for a short period, therefore there is no risk of contamination.

There are still a lot of unknowns around COVID-19 right now, and the situation can change at any time, but as of now, there is no data to show that COVID-19 is spread by consuming food, says James E. Rogers, Ph.D., Consumer Reports’ director of food safety research and testing.

Let’s spread awareness, not fear!

Mansi is a practicing diet consultant and online food coach in Belgium with an extremely easy and effective No-Diet Approach.

Excerpts and quotes sourced from credible, online sources for educational purpose.

To receive her blogs on your email, click here.