Can you catch coronavirus from food?

Can you catch coronavirus from food?
With a lot of fear and misinformation circling around COVID-19, MiNDFOOD looks at the facts when it comes to transmission.

Can you catch coronavirus from food?

According to the World Health Organisation, it is highly unlikely you will contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging.

Coronaviruses need hosts to grow (animal or human) and therefore cannot grow in food. The virus can be killed at cooking temperatures and foods such as meat, poultry and eggs should always be cooked to at least 70°C.

What about surfaces?

As the virus spreads through airborne droplets, there is an indication that these droplets can land on objects and surfaces. It is therefore possible to be infected by touching a contaminated surface or object.

Research shows that the COVID-19 virus can survive on different surfaces for a number of hours. It can remain viable for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, four hours on copper and up to 24 hours on cardboard.

How does it spread?

Just like the regular flu, COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person. This occurs through droplets spread from coughing, sneezing and close personal contact. The Ministry of Health points out three common ways transmission can occur:

  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Close personal contact
  • Contact with an object or surface with viral particles on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes

This is why it is important to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands and coughing appropriately. See our healthy handwashing guide.

For more advice, read our tips on how to prepare for the coronavirus.


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