FDA: No Evidence COVID-19 Spreads On Food Or Packaging

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One of the only stores still open during the current coronavirus pandemic are grocery stores.

Because of the uncertainty of the virus, we have all likely heard many different things when it comes to bringing food home from the grocery store, as well as what to do when a package arrives on your doorstep.

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We’ve been told many things, from wiping down our food packages and delivery boxes with Clorox wipes, to washing every bit of food we’ve purchased with soap and water, and everything in between.

Well, luckily for everyone, the FDA has released a new statement to help with questions and concerns.

We want to reassure consumers that there is currently no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” the FDA said. “This particular coronavirus causes respiratory illness and is spread from person-to-person, unlike foodborne gastrointestinal or GI viruses, such as norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food.”

In short, they have not found that the virus spreads on food or packaging.

The FDA also says that if you’d like to take extra precaution, you can “wipe down product packaging and allow it to air dry.”

As always, you should rinse your fresh foods and vegetables, even ones with skins and rinds. Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush.

The FDA also says to regularly clean and sanitize your kitchen counters using a disinfectant product – though not on your actual food – or a DIY sanitizing solution.

Below is the FDA recommended recipe for DIY sanitizing solution.

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) unscented liquid chlorine bleach
  • 1 gallon of water

or

  • 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water

As far as mail and delivery packages go, NBC’s investigative and consumer correspondent Vicky Nguyen says to open mail, read the contents, throw away what you don’t need, and immediately wash your hands.

For packages, Nguyen recommends leaving it outside for 24 hours or wash your hands immediately after touching it if you can’t leave it outside for 24 hours, she also says to “open the box, dump the contents into a clean area, throw away the packaging and then wash your hands again before touching interior contents.”

As always, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and wear a face mask when needed.