Food and food packaging are highly unlikely to spread Covid-19, the US Food and Drug Administration, US Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a reminder Thursday.
“Consumers should be reassured that we continue to believe, based on our understanding of currently available reliable scientific information, and supported by overwhelming international scientific consensus, that the foods they eat and food packaging they touch are highly unlikely to spread SARS-CoV-2,” the FDA said in a statement.
Covid-19 is a respiratory illness spread from person to person, unlike foodborne viruses that can make people sick through contaminated food, the FDA said.
“Given that the number of virus particles that could be theoretically picked up by touching a surface would be very small and the amount needed for infection via oral inhalation would be very high, the chances of infection by touching the surface of food packaging or eating food is considered to be extremely low,” it added.
“Considering the more than 100 million cases of COVID-19, we have not seen epidemiological evidence of food or food packaging as the source of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to humans.”
This contradicts the claims of Chinese officials who have repeatedly raised the possibility that the virus spreads by packaged frozen foods.