Coronavirus, Efsa rules out transmission via food

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There is no evidence that food is a source or route of coronavirus transmission. This was stated by Efsa on 9.3.20 in a statement that followed asimilar communication from the Italian Ministry of Health by a week.

Coronavirus and food

The chief scientific officer of the European Food Safety Authority states that ”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 does not occur. At present, there is no evidence to suggest that coronavirus is different in this regard.’

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said that while animals in China were the possible source of the initial infection, the virus is spreading from person to person, mainly through the droplets people emit when they sneeze, cough or exhale.

Food safety measures

The total absence of data on the possible transmission of coronavirus through food is the reason why ‘EFSA is not currently involved in the response to COVID-19 outbreaks. However, we are monitoring the scientific literature for new and relevant information.’

To ensure food safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) recalls good hygiene practices to be observed during food handling and preparation, such as

– washing hands,

– Carefully cook the meat,

– Avoid potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods.

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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".