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Coronavirus advice for the food industry

The US FDA released this information to answer coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns within the food industry… while American in focus, these resources have global relevance.

The FDA’s Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner of the Office of Food Policy and Response, has assured the public that “the US food supply remains safe, there are no shortages [and] there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.”

But to maintain safety, efficiency and reliability, the agency said it is adjusting some regulations and answering questions from the industry.

This will be done via official statements and via a new FAQ page.

Food Safety, Manufacturing and COVID-19

According to the FDA, COVID-19 cannot be transmitted via the food supply.

“Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness,” the FAQ page explains. “Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.”

Food manufacturers should follow protocols set by local and state health departments, which may vary depending on the amount of community spread, the FDA notes. Yiannas said it’s unlikely products would be recalled due to the virus.

“We do not anticipate that food products would need to be recalled or withdrawn from the market should a person who works in the food facility be confirmed for COVID-19,” he said.

If an employee is infected, Susan Mayne, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), said that companies should inform employees but maintain confidentiality. Afterward, all employees should continue following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

For some local advice, click here!

Mayne also noted food and agriculture are considered “critical sectors” by the Department of Homeland Security (DOHS). Thus the FDA and corresponding agencies will “do everything possible to make sure food and agriculture continues production and manufacturing without hindrance,” she said.

She noted additional resources for food businesses include FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center (and 24/7 email assistance at for supply chain issues, including navigating quarantined areas, and CSFAN’s industry and consumer page for food safety and technical questions.

Moving forward, the FDA is also updating protocols to prevent person-to-person contact between FDA employees and food industry workers.


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A source for how COVID-19 is impacting the food and beverage industry as well as resources for the food and beverage facilities and their employees.

Click here for a lengthy selection of articles and advice

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