The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) looked at the evidence that coronavirus might be carried on food or its packing and found very little.
“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,” the organization said in a statement.
“There are no foods that should be considered a risk or warrant consideration as a vector for SARS-CoV-2.”
While it is possible that people could eat something contaminated with the virus and become infected that way, it’s never been seen to have happened, they said.
However, it is still prudent to emphasize good food hygiene practices, the group said.
While some countries have restricted food imports, tested imported products or asked companies to state their products are coronavirus-free, the ICMSF says none of this is necessary.
“The focus for food businesses should be on protecting food workers, consumers and restaurant patrons from becoming infected by person-to-person SARS-CoV-2 spread,” they wrote.
When concerns over food contamination began
The concern over virus transmission via surfaces began in late March after a study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.
But the study did not account for other factors that could help to inactivate the virus, such as sunlight or disinfectants, or look at varying levels of virus, Lloyd-Smith said.
CNN’s Sandee LaMotte contributed to this report.
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