A critical part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s mission is safeguarding the human and animal food supply, helping to ensure that food is not contaminated at any point during its journey along the supply chain. Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, states there is no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission or coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness. This virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.
For these reasons, the FDA does not anticipate that food products would need to be recalled or withdrawn from the market for reasons related to the outbreak, even if a person who works in a human or animal food facility (e.g. a food packager) is confirmed to be positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Yiannas further stated that there is currently no nationwide shortages of food, despite localized reports of shortages. The FDA is working with food manufacturers and grocery stores to closely monitor the human food supply chain for any shortages.