Can You Get Covid-19 From Food?
The following article is posted in its entirety from CanadianFoodFocus.org through Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan. The original article appears here.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 coronavirus a pandemic globally on March 11, 2020. All levels of government continue to monitor and update Canadians to help minimize this rapidly evolving public health issue.
We are all taking extra steps to protect ourselves and those around us.
Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that causes infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:
- respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
- close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
Practice frequent hand hygiene and coughing and sneezing etiquette. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys, phones and door handles. These are the most important ways that you can protect yourself and your family from respiratory illness, including COVID-19.
Does Covid-19 spread through food?
There is currently no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus. Scientists and food safety authorities across the world are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19.
However, practicing good hygiene and food safety can help reduce your risk of spreading the disease. Health Canada advises that we frequently wash our hands with soap and water (use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available) for 20 seconds, especially before you eat or prepare food.
Can I get Covid-19 from food or products that come from countries with high rates of infection?
“The risk of spread from products shipped over a period of days or weeks at room temperature is very low. There is no known risk of corona viruses entering Canada on parcels or packages coming from affected regions in China.” Health Canada.
Although COVID-19 originated in China, it is still safe to enjoy your favorite takeout – you can’t get coronavirus from eating Chinese food.
Can I get Covid-19 from touching food or food packaging?
We now know that Covid-19 does survive on surfaces and objects, including food packaging, but the risk is small. Use gloves and wipe down the outer layers of packaging after food has been delivered. Many delivery companies are using contactless delivery where the delivery person leaves your order so there is no direct contact. When grocery shopping follow the if you touch it buy it rule.
Over the next few weeks while we are self isolating and spending more time at home preparing our own meals. Remembering to follow food handling guidelines is always important to keep your family safe from food-borne illnesses. If you’re stocking up on food supplies. Make sure to store your food properly so that it lasts as long as possible.
It is also a good idea to stock up on prescriptions, pet food, diapers, and feminine hygiene products.
Avoid Panic Buying
It is good to be prepared but try to avoid panic buying. If you’re worried about running out of food, please be considerate and only stock up for what you need for the next few weeks. Many Canadians can’t afford to stock up all at once and we will all need to make our supplies last.
Let’s be Kind and Donate
Consider donating to Food Banks Canada. They are currently trying to raise $150 M to help meet the increasing demand because of Covid-19.
Looking for Simple Meal Ideas
Here is a list of some of our articles to help you stock up and prepare simple meals for you and your family:
Staples for a Well-Stocked Pantry
How to Make Chili
Choose Your Own Soup Adventure
How to Make a Stir-Fry
How Long Can I Store This?