Coronavirus Transmission: Can you get COVID-19 infection from your food?

Food can easily be infected if the person coughs or sneezes around as the COVID-19 virus spreads through droplets.

Apr 17, 2020 12:00 IST
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Coronavirus Transmission through Food: The spread of novel Coronavirus has transformed the world deeply; causing damage to humans, physically, mentally and financially. With total 72 families put under quarantine in Delhi's Malviya Nagar after a Pizza Delivery boy tested positive for Coronavirus on April 14, the question that is now bothering everyone is can the COVID-19 infection spread through food. The incident has raised concerns among the people whether they can catch the Coronavirus disease from their food.

Food can easily be infected if the person coughs or sneezes around as the COVID-19 virus spreads through droplets. However, As of now, there is no substantial proof or no specific studies that demonstrate effect of virus on food.

The Coronavirus hovers over the surface of food, especially when the food is brought from a place visited by many people. However, there are some factors that prevent transmission of virus from food such as handwashing, washing of fruits and vegetables, washing of utensils and others. These measures are now being followed more strictly than before. Besides this, the food is prepared at high temperatures to get a boil, which makes it difficult for the virus to survive on the food surface.

WHO's Guide to Safer Food

As per the World Health Organisation, by following a proper food hygiene and food safety practices, the Coronavirus transmission through food can be prevented easily. The virus appears to be stable at extremely low and freezing temperatures, but for a certain period.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists five keys to safer food. These five keys are:

WHO on Safer Food

Keep Clean

-Wash your hands before handling the food or preparing the food

-Wash your hands after going to toilet

-Wash & Sanitize all the places and equipment used for food and storage

-Protect Kitchen and food from insects, pests and others.

Separate raw and cooked food

-Separate raw meat, poultry and sea food from other food items

-Handle raw foods and other foods with separate utensils and equipment

-Store food in separate containers to avoid contact between raw and cooked food

Cook thoroughly

-Cook food thoroughly

-Make sure to boil the foods like soups and others that they reach 70 degree temperature, you can use Thermometer if not sure

-Before eating, reheat the cooked food thoroughly

keep food at safe temperatures

-Do not leave prepared food at room temperature for over 2 hours

-Refrigerate all cooked and perishable foods

-Do not store food for long even in refrigerators

-Do not melt the frozen foods at room temperature

Use safe water and raw materials

-Use safe water for food preparation

-Use fresh and wholesome foods

-Choose processed foods like pasteurized milk

-Wash fruits and vegetables before consumption

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