TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Our Fact Finders team received a question about food safety and COVID-19. The viewer wanted to know if there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19, why the emphasis on wiping down surfaces experts say the virus can live on for hours or even days?
While this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it may be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.
“If Coronavirus gets on some food surface and that is cooked, it won’t last, but if it’s after that, the risk is somewhat higher,” said. Dr. Will Heise, who is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.
“If it actually makes it down your digestive track, then you won’t really get it. The problem is spreading it around your mouth, " Heise said. “f you are eating something it may potentially be conducted that way although I don’t know of anything that has proven that necessarily. So, what we have to hope is that people who are preparing our food are not ill.”
We took the same question to Dr. Felicia Goodrum, an immunobiology professor at the University of Arizona.
“I cannot say it would be impossible not to get COVID-19 from groceries or take out, it is just definitely going to be rare to the point of non-existent—particularly from establishments where employees are wearing masks, gloves and otherwise taking this very seriously," Goodrum said.
According to Pima County, inspectors are still performing routine and educational inspections.
At the end of the day, the experts we spoke with say they are still eating take-out food.
The Food and Drug Administration said based on the information we have on this novel Coronavirus, it seems unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food, but additional investigation is needed.