Updated: June 22, 2020
The FDA has released a list of serological tests that should no longer be distributed for COVID-19. For the full list, please see here. If you are considering different types of serological tests, please make sure the tests you are using are not on this list!
By using mini-organs, researchers are able to see, first-hand, how the coronavirus attacks the body. Read more on Nature, here.
The total number of COVID-19 cases has exceeded 9 million.
To date, there remains no evidence to indicate that COVID-19 is transmitted through food.
Recommendations for Industry
China Import Suspensions, COVID-19 Testing: Does Not Indicate Food Link or Risk.
Due to COVID-19 infections in U.S. meat and poultry processing plants, China has suspended some U.S. chicken and pork imports. This news has been sweeping through the news media. China’s announcement follows last week’s brief suspension of salmon imports based on a positive finding of COVID-19 on a chopping board that had been used to cut salmon. Since then, China quickly backed off its declaration, acknowledging that the virus had been found on several other non-salmon-related surfaces. Additionally, the salmon was not contaminated before entering the marketplace.
However, the chicken/pork situation is somewhat different because no virus was found on the food or surfaces that the food had been in contact with. To this day, the U.S. CDC, U.S. FDA, World Health Organization, European Food Safety Authority, TAG, and even China’s CDC, have reiterated that there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 through food. Yet, it seems that with this new declaration, Chinese officials were doing about anything to try to contain “a wave of new infections linked to a wholesale market” in Beijing.
Included in its efforts to contain a possible new way, China has also increased testing, including testing food and food surfaces. Just as we see with the salmon example, if enough testing is done, a positive sample (even a non-infective COVID-19 RNA) will likely be found on a food item. As such, the food and beverage industry must be aware of the possibility of positive samples on food, have a communication plan formed, and understand that a positive COVID-19 sample on food does not indicate the potential of transmission from food, or pose a health risk.
As of June 22, 2020 (14:05 ET), there are over 9,006,000 cases (>469,000 deaths) worldwide.
Due to the increasing number of cases in the United States, TAG will move from reporting counts per country to focus on the United States, please see here for the data. For further information regarding worldwide numbers, please refer to John Hopkin University’s aggregate map.
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