As more restaurants and businesses close and consumer anxieties rise, do consumers need to be worried about contracting COVID-19 from their groceries? Experts say that there is no evidence that fresh produce (or any other foods) can transmit the coronavirus.

With the increased focus around the world on our health, our handwashing, and even our cleaning habits, it is no surprise that the weekly grocery run is accompanied by some additional anxiety. As social-distancing becomes commonplace, consumers are beginning to question other aspects of their daily shopping trips. Is it safe to handle food that other consumers may have touched? According to a recent press release from the FDA, there’s no need to worry: “We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices”.

While concerns about surface contamination from COVID-19 do exist - with some experts suggesting that the virus can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours - the good news is that food hygiene advice is the same as ever. This includes washing all produce before preparation, keeping meat products separate from other foods in storage and meal preparation, and of course, practicing good hand hygiene.


Still worried about your next shopping trip? Consumer reports Director of Food Safety Research & Testing Jim Rogers has compiled some additional precautions consumers can take at the grocery store:

Amidst this rapidly developing public health crisis it is important that consumers stay calm and avoid panic buying, but there is no reason to avoid the healthy foods that are more important than ever. Stay healthy readers!