USDA, FDA see no evidence of Covid-19 transmission via food or packaging

19 February 2021 (Last Updated February 19th, 2021 15:06)

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have revealed that there is no credible evidence of Covid-19 transmission to humans via food and food packaging.

USDA, FDA see no evidence of Covid-19 transmission via food or packaging
The FDA, CDC and USDA say the chances of transmitting Covid-19 virus by touching food and food packaging are very low. Credit: Gilbert Mercier.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have revealed that there is no credible evidence of Covid-19 transmission to humans via food and food packaging.

The update from the two organisations derives from the information available from scientific bodies across the world.

Literature reviews and analyses from other countries also agree with this view.

There is a growing international consensus that the risk of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to humans via food and food packaging is exceedingly low.

The FDA in a statement said: “Our confidence in the safety of the US food supply remains steadfast. 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.”

Recently, the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) also opined that there is no evidence so far on the same since the start of the pandemic.

The update also pointed out “there are relatively few reports of the virus being detected on food and packaging”.

It also noted that a majority of studies mainly focus on “the detection of the virus’ genetic fingerprint rather than evidence of transmission of virus” to humans.

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