As coronavirus is spreading throughout the world at a very high rate people are worried that they may get the virus from anything that comes from outside their house. They are so fearful that they sanitize their clothes, shopping bags, and anything that comes from outside and some think that ordering food from restaurants can also bring the virus into their homes. However, the World health organization stated on Thursday that there is no evidence of coronavirus transmission from food.
There were reports from Chinese authorities this week that a sample from the surface of a batch of frozen wings tested positive, which was imported from Brazil. The virus was detected but the test results of people who came in contact with the product have come negative so far. One expert believes that the test of the chicken might have come positive because it may have detected genetic material from dead coronavirus.
It was not the only case in China, as over the last four days in three cities of China the virus was found on the surface of frozen food which raised concerns that coronavirus transmission from food might be possible and could lead to new outbreaks. However, WHO officials said that health authorities in China have tested a few thousand samples of frozen food and the tests were found positive in ‘very very few’ of them.
Even if coronavirus transmission from food was possible, which according to the evidence is not, it can be killed before anyone eats it, said Maria Van Kerkhove head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit. She further believes that if the virus is in the food than it can be killed like any other virus, which can be killed when the meat is cooked.
Chief of the Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Ian Williams previously said that there is no evidence that the coronavirus is foodborne-driven or food service-driven. He further said that this virus is respiratory and person-to-person and there is no evidence that points towards food or foodservice as ways that are driving the pandemic.
Coronavirus is largely transmitted through respiratory droplets when a person who is infected sneezes, coughs, or talks with another person and they are within 6 feet distance, according to the CDC. The best ways to be saved from the virus is to wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands thoroughly.
US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture also said in a joint statement that there is no evidence that the virus can be contracted from food or food packaging. However, as per CDC, there is a chance that you may contract the virus by touching the food packaging and then touching your face but the risk can be reduced if you wash your hands for 20 seconds after handling the food packaging.
Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program said that people are already scared enough in the pandemic, and its important that the findings like this be tracked and scientific evidence should not be discounted where it is found. He also believes that it’s very important that people can go about their lives without fear.