COVID-19 Transmission: Can You Contract Disease From Food?

As people navigate through aisle upon aisles of grocery stores alongside other people with the goal of stocking up on good that will last them a whole month or two, it’s normal for people to wonder whether the coronavirus can be caught from food.

So can it?

Coronavirus Food Risk

“Can you catch the coronavirus from food?” is probably a thought that has ran through everyone’s minds at this point, especially with the amount of people that have started ferrying to groceries in order to stock on a couple of months’ worth of supplies. And it’s an understandable given since in a lot of instances, crowds can’t always be avoided in these places.

Thankfully, experts said that there’s no reason to worry because there’s currently no evidence of the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, being transmitted through any type of food.

“We don't really have any evidence that food or food packaging is a source for getting sick from COVID-19,” Benjamin Chapman, a professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, said.

To that end, however, he also stressed that at the moment, there is still much we don’t know about the virus that’s causing this deadly pandemic. As such, our understanding about the spread of the disease as well as the potential food risks that it may pose can still change in the future as we learn more about it.

As far as we know and per data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus is mainly passed from human-to-human via coughs, sneezes and physical contact with someone who already have it. And while there are studies that explored the idea that COVID-19 can be transmitted from touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth, that’s not the primary mode of transmission. In any case, washing your hands with soap and water after going outside is still highly recommended.

Transmission via food is also unlikely since the food safety measures that we have in place are already in place to prevent such instances from even happening in the first place.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases Map An interactive web-based dashboard to track COVID-19 in real time by Johns Hopkins University. Dong E, Du H, Gardner L./Johns Hopkins University