COVID-19 doesn't appear to be transmitted by eating food contaminated with the virus, however, it is important to practice good hand hygiene before preparing or eating food.
Does cooking kill the COVID-19 virus?
Normal cooking temperatures for foods will kill COVID-19 and other microbes in food. As with other microbes our advice is to always use a thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the food has reached 74°C.
Does the COVID-19 virus grow on food? Should I be concerned about storing foods in my cupboard, fridge, or freezer?
COVID-19 is a virus and does not grow. It may survive in foods and on surfaces for a few hours to a few days before it dies off. However, it is not believed that the virus is transmitted by eating contaminated food.
The virus is transmitted by droplets
spread from a sick person. If the COVID-19 virus is on the surface of a food and stored in a cupboard, fridge, or freezer, there is no evidence that it can grow or multiply further. We do not know if COVID-19 can survive refrigerator or freezer temperatures. While there are no special precautions needed when storing food, we recommend washing your hands after putting away food you have purchased and before preparing food.
Can the COVID-19 virus be passed on by eating or touching ready to eat foods made by others?
There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through food made by infected people. COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. There is a theoretical risk that a person infected with COVID-19 could spread the virus by sneezing on food or by directly touching food with their hands. However, there have been no cases reported of such transmission with COVID-19. To be safe, if you are sick with COVID-19, do not prepare or handle food for others.
Use good hygiene practices when handling food. Avoid bare hand contact. For example, use utensils, deli napkins, or dispensing equipment to handle food. We recommend frequent hand washing with plain soap and water to reduce risk of transmission if you are preparing foods.
When handling foods at home, make sure to wash your hands
with soap and water:
- Before, during and after preparing foods,
- After handling any raw foods,
- Before eating foods,
- After using the washroom,
- After touching pets,
- After changing diapers
- After wiping runny noses or any hand contact with your face or your child’s face
Can COVID-19 be passed on by eating or touching raw fruits and vegetables?
There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through eating or touching raw fruits or vegetables. When preparing fresh fruits and vegetables, wash or scrub them under cold, running, potable tap water prior to consumption.
Prevent cross contamination by
- keeping fruits and vegetables separate from raw foods,
- at the grocery store, only handle (touch) the fresh fruits and vegetables that you plan to buy (as a courtesy to other customers) and to limit any hand transfer of germs