With growing concerns of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has announced that there is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus.
They added that they are closely monitoring the situation that is affecting a large number of countries across the globe. Scientists and authorities across the world are monitoring the spread of the virus and there have not been any reports of transmission through food.
“Experiences from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), show that transmission through food consumption did not occur. At the moment, there is no evidence to suggest that coronavirus is any different in this respect,” said EFSA’s chief scientist, Marta Hugas.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has said that while animals in China were the likely source of the initial infection, the virus is spreading from person to person – mainly via respiratory droplets that people sneeze, cough, or exhale.
Regarding food safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued precautionary recommendations including advice on following good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as washing hands, cooking meat thoroughly and avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods.
Source: Asia Pacific Food Industry