The World Health Organization advises that it is very unlikely that anyone will get COVID-19 from food or food packaging. However, when you purchase food from outside the home it is not impossible that packaging or surfaces of the food have SARS-CoV-2 on them. 

The following measures should be used to maintain good hygiene at that time:

  • Remove and safely dispose of packaging as soon as possible. Wash your hands after handling packaging or touching unwashed items. 
  • Wash food or produce with water only. The use of soap or detergent is not appropriate as these may be harmful upon ingestion.
  • Cook and/or heat food before eating. Cooking food can effectively kill all pathogens. More information about why this is and how hot different types of food need to be, can be found on the CDC website
  • Remember to wash your hands before and while preparing food, as well as before eating. 
  • If relevant, store prepared food in covered containers to prevent contamination and thoroughly reheat food before consumption.

Editor's Note

Author: Karin Gallandat
Review: Karen Levy, Jacqueline Knee, Sian White, Robert Dreibelbis
Last Update: 15.04.2020

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