Updated: September 11, 2020
In Today’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss why COVID-19 is not considered to be a food safety hazard. Read more today!
The CDC has updated its Travel Recommendations to highlight COVID-19 risk for countries around the world. If you are considering international travel, access CDC’s recommendations here. You can also review Covid Controls for travel and lockdown restrictions by country.
Findings from the CDC’s most recent MMWR indicate the potential that “eating and drinking on-site at locations that offer such options might be important risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections.” The MMWR concludes that, “As communities reopen, efforts to reduce possible exposures at locations that offer on-site eating and drinking options should be considered to protect customers, employees, and communities.”
Recommendations for Industry
Q. Why is COVID-19 not a food safety hazard?
A. The CDC, FDA, the EFSA of Europe, and TAG itself, have continually stated that there is currently no evidence of COVID-19 transmission associated with food. But why?
A new paper from the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) on SARS-CoV-2 and its relationship to food safety, provides some explanation. As the opinion states:
“SARS-COV-2 should not be considered a food safety hazard since a true food safety hazard enters the human body with food via the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract, where it can infect organs/tissues elsewhere in the human body.” ICMSF gives the example of Hepatitis A which enters the bloodstream after infecting the human intestinal epithelium and ultimately establishes infection in the liver and causes foodborne disease. Additionally, the paper states “the mere presence of an infectious agent in a food does not necessarily translate into human infection.”
In discussing the fact that SARS-CoV-2 has been found in the stools or feces of people with COVID-19 (and resulting sewage water), ICMSF states that there is currently no documented evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can survive passage through the human stomach (which is itself, quite acidic).
As of September 11, 2020 (12:22 ET), there are over 28,219,000 cases (>910,000 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.
Keep up to date with COVID-19:
Please send us any questions, comments, and/or concerns! We are happy to talk with you.
OR call us at 1-800-401-2239
Get the Insights & Guidance You Need!
Learn how TAG can help your company ensure food safety and brand protection.
Contact us today!