People are, rightfully so, asking about how coronavirus can be transmitted, and the focus is now on food and food packaging. Can buying groceries or getting takeaway pose a risk?

According to the World Health Organization, as well as the Australian and New Zealand governments, there is no risk of COVID-19 being transmitted in this way. No cases have been reported through food contamination, ruling out the possibility of the virus being a foodborne disease.

As stated at the beginning of the pandemic, the virus is transferred human-to-human. When shopping for fruits and vegetables, it is always a good idea to wash them but do not use any kind of soap. Detergents like these are not safe for human consumption and do more harm than good.

Meat processing and sales in Australia are governed by strict regulations, including requirements that prohibit the use of meat and offal from diseased animals for human consumption. It is recommended that meat be cooked thoroughly to kill any microorganisms and bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

For those asking if food packaging is a risk, the short answer is no. The packaging itself is not known to present a transmission risk. It is not yet confirmed how long this virus survives and/or remains detectable on surfaces but studies suggest it may be between a few hours and up to several days depending on the type of surface, temperature and humidity of the environment.

There is no case of COVID-19 being spread through food and food packaging. Keep buying your groceries as normal and follow good hygiene practices when cooking to prevent food poisoning. You can read more information here: Food Standards Australia