The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has caused a great deal of confusion and fear around the world. One of the most common questions people have is whether or not the virus can be spread through food. The answer is no. There is currently no evidence to suggest that people become infected by swallowing the virus in or on food or drink. It is important to note that COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that spreads from person to person.
Therefore, it is essential to take precautions when preparing and eating food. Before handling food, it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds to ensure overall food safety. Additionally, disinfectants or surface sprays should not be used on humans or animals as they are designed for use on hard, non-porous surfaces. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information on surface disinfection practices. It is important to never eat, drink, breathe, or inject disinfectants into your body or apply them directly to your skin as they can cause serious damage.
The FDA also has a Hand Sanitizers and COVID-19 page with helpful information. If you are concerned about contamination of food or food containers, it is important to wash your hands after handling food packaging, after removing food from the package, before preparing food for eating, and before eating. Additionally, consumers should follow CDC guidelines for frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces frequently. It is also important to note that masks should not be put on pets as they can cause harm. Do not clean or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other products such as hand sanitizer, counter cleaning wipes, or other industrial or surface cleaners. If you have questions about the right products for bathing or cleaning your pet, talk to your veterinarian. If your pet gets hand sanitizer on the skin or hair, rinse or clean it with water immediately.
If your pet swallows hand sanitizer (for example, when chewing the bottle) or if you show signs of illness after using it, contact your veterinarian or pet poison control center immediately. The FDA does not have a regulatory authority requiring the animal drug industry to report shortages but they have contacted manufacturers as part of their approach to identifying potential disruptions or shortages. They will use all available tools to react quickly and help mitigate the impact if a potential outage or shortage is identified. In conclusion, there is no evidence to support food-associated transmission of COVID-19. Coronaviruses need live host cells to thrive and unlike bacteria and fungi, they can't multiply in or on food. To stay informed about COVID-19 safety measures related to food safety and hand hygiene visit the FDA's Hand Sanitizers and COVID-19 page.