Food Safety and Availability During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working in many ways to help keep people safe while the nation is coping with the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Food availability and food safety are vitally important to our well-being, and the FDA is working hard to help ensure the foods you, your family, and your pets eat are safe and available.
Here are three things to know about food availability and safety as the nation copes with the pandemic.
Q: Is the U.S. food supply safe?
Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of the coronavirus.
It’s important to recognize that unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI, or stomach-related) viruses that often make people ill through contaminated food, coronavirus is a virus that causes respiratory (breathing-related) illness.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. This includes between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but we don’t think this is the main way the virus spreads at this time.
Regardless, it’s always critical to follow the four key steps of food safety (clean, separate, cook, and chill) to prevent foodborne illness. It’s also important to wash your hands frequently, including right before preparing and eating food and after preparing pet food.