The European Commission has published a Question&Answer on Covid19 and food safety.
It presents answers on the following areas: Risk of infection through food; Food production; Food at home, Member States recommendations, and Other sources of information.
What is the risk of COVID-19 infection from food products?
Despite the large scale of the pandemic, there has been no report of transmission of COVID-19 via consumption of food to date. Therefore, as stated by the European Food Safety Authority1 , there is no evidence that food poses a risk to public health in relation to COVID-19. The main mode of transmission for COVID-19 is considered to be from person to person, mainly via respiratory droplets that infected people sneeze, cough or exhale.
Can I do something myself at home to minimise any potential risk from food conveying the virus responsible for COVID-19?
Yes. First, washing thoroughly your hands (See ECDC tutorial on Effective Hand-Washing8 ) with soap and warm water before and after shopping is particularly important as it will protect yourself as well as others. It is equally important to apply strictly the hygiene rules in your kitchen, that usually protect you from food poisoning. Store your food properly (any contact between the food consumed raw and cooked food must be avoided), discard outer packaging before storage (for example cardboard outers where there is an inner plastic package) while keeping track of key information such as maximum duration limits. Systematically wash fruits and vegetables with clean water, especially if they are not going to be cooked (COVID-19 will not survive cooking).
Avoid contamination by kitchenware (knifes, plates, etc.) by carefully washing them with detergent in between using them for different food ingredients. Respect cooking instructions (time, temperature) for food intended to be eaten cooked. Wash your hands with warm water and soap before you start preparing or cooking food, as well as after having prepared food. Fridge and kitchen surfaces should be cleaned routinely, though with increased frequency. The precautions against COVID-19 should not make you forget the classic rules to avoid food poisoning when you cook at home that still apply and which protect you from foodborne illnesses that would further burden the healthcare facilities.