The Covid-19 food packaging transmission conclusions drawn by the FDA, USDA and CDC is based on information from scientific bodies across the globe
The FDA, USDA and CDC have underscored the fact that there’s no credible evidence of food or food packaging being a likely source of viral transmission of Covid-19.
The US government health agencies remain confident in the safety of the US food supply, with the three stating that, based on the current scientific information, the foods consumers eat and food packaging they touch are highly unlikely to spread Covid-19.
In a statement, they added: “It’s particularly important to note that Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that is spread from person to person, unlike foodborne or gastrointestinal viruses, such as norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food.
“While there are relatively few reports of the virus being detected on food and packaging, most studies focus primarily on the detection of the virus’ genetic fingerprint rather than evidence of transmission of the virus resulting in human infection.
“Given that the number of virus particles that could be theoretically picked up by touching a surface would be very small and the amount needed for infection via oral inhalation would be very high, the chances of infection by touching the surface of food packaging or eating food is considered to be extremely low.”
Covid-19 food packaging transmission conclusions from the FDA based on information from scientific bodies across the globe
The USDA and the FDA are sharing this update based upon the best available information from scientific bodies across the globe, including a continued international consensus that the risk is exceedingly low for transmission of Covid-19 to humans from food packaging.
For example, a recent opinion from the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods stated: “Despite the billions of meals and food packages handled since the beginning of the pandemic, to date, there has not been any evidence that food, food packaging or food handling is a source or important transmission route for SARS-CoV-2 resulting in Covid-19.”
In addition, considering the more than 100 million cases of Covid-19, the agencies have not seen epidemiological evidence of food or food packaging as the source of Covid-19 transmission to humans.
Alongside this, transmission has not been attributed to food products or packaging through national and international surveillance systems.
Food business operations continue to produce a steady supply of safe food following current Good Manufacturing Practices and preventive controls, focusing on good hygiene practices and keeping workers safe.
Based on the scientific information that continues to be made available over the course of the pandemic, the USDA and FDA continue to be confident in the safety of the food available to US consumers and exported to international customers.