Food and drug safety
Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.
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 and not gastrointestinal illness, and foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. That’s why it’s always critical to follow the 4 key steps of food safety:clean, separate, cook, and chill.
In some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Food production and manufacturing generally are widely dispersed throughout the U.S., however, there is a significant shift in where consumers are buying food during the pandemic. While food use in large-scale establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, sports arenas/stadiums and universities suddenly declined, the demand for food at grocery stores increased.
The FDA has issued temporary guidance to provide flexibility in packaging and labeling requirements to support food supply chains and get foods to the consumer retail marketplace. The FDA is closely monitoring the food supply chain for any shortages in collaboration with industry and our federal and state partners. We are in regular contact with food manufacturers and grocery stores.
Watch a video on food safety and availability during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are no nationwide shortages of animal food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Animal food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the United States and no widespread disruptions have been reported in the supply chain.
Currently there is no evidence of animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.
There is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States or imported from countries affected by COVID-19 can transmit COVID-19.
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 (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.
CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) play distinct but complementary roles in regulating the importation of live animals and animal products into the United States. CDC regulates animals and animal products that pose a threat to human health, USDA regulates animals and animal products that pose a threat to agriculture; and FWS regulates importation of endangered species and wildlife that can harm the health and welfare of humans, the interests of agriculture, horticulture, or forestry, and the welfare and survival of wildlife resources.
Currently, there is no evidence that you can get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 by eating food, including wild hunted game meat.
However, hunters can get infected with other diseases when processing or eating game. Hunters should always practice good hygiene when processing animals by following these food safety recommendations:
- Do not harvest animals that appear sick or are found dead.
- Keep game meat clean and cool the meat down as soon as possible after harvesting the animal.
- Avoid cutting through the backbone and spinal tissues and do not eat the brains of any wild animal.
- When handling and cleaning game:
- Wear rubber or disposable gloves.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke.
- When finished handling and cleaning game:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Clean knives, equipment, and surfaces that were in contact with game meat with soap and water and then disinfect them. These recommendations apply to general food safety practices. If you are concerned about COVID-19, you may use a product on the EPA list of disinfectants for use against the COVID-19 virus.
- Cook all game meat thoroughly (to an internal temperature of 165°F or higher).
- Check with your state wildlife agency regarding any testing requirements for other diseases and for any specific instructions regarding preparing, transporting, and consuming game meat.
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day use a tissue to cover your coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.
Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. However, the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in some communities in the U.S. The CDC recommends that if you are sick, stay home until you are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
Anyone handling, preparing and serving food should always follow safe food handling procedures, such as washing hands and surfaces often.
The FDA has been and is continuing to closely monitor the supply chain with the expectation that the COVID-19 outbreak may impact the animal medical product supply chain.
We have been reaching out to manufacturers as part of our approach to identifying potential disruptions or shortages. We will use all available tools to react swiftly to help mitigate the impact if a potential disruption or shortage is identified.
Learn more on our Animal Drug Shortage Information page.
Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods, including food and drugs for humans and pets. There have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.
The FDA has been closely monitoring the supply chain with the expectation that the COVID-19 outbreak would likely impact the medical product supply chain, including potential disruptions to supply or shortages of critical medical products in the U.S.
We have been reaching out to manufacturers as part of our approach to identifying potential disruptions or shortages. We will use all available tools to react swiftly and mitigate the impact to U.S. patients and health care professionals when a potential disruption or shortage is identified.
Find real-time information about drug shortages.
Learn more in our drug shortages frequently asked questions.