Coronavirus and the Food You Eat | Food Safety –

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According to the CDC, coronavirus is primarily transmitted person to person through respiratory droplets. “We haven’t seen food or food packaging as a source of transmission,” says Chapman. That said, if you touch something that has the virus on it and then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes, you could become infected.

In the case of food packaging, however, the risk is low. In a preliminary study published in The New England Journal of Medicine on March 17, researchers tested the stability of the new coronavirus on a variety of surfaces. They found that the virus remained on plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours. On cardboard, they found no viable virus after 24 hours.

But the virus begins to degrade quickly. The half life—or the time it takes for the concentration of virus to drop by 50 percent—was 5.6 hours on stainless steel and 6.8 hours on plastic. The half life on cardboard was a little more than 3 hours, although the researchers noted there was a wider variation among the samples they tested than for stainless steel or plastic.

“Just because the virus is there, doesn’t mean that there are enough viable particles there to infect you,” CR’s Rogers says. And the chances that any particular package was exposed to all the factors that would be necessary for it to have the virus on it in the first place are also low.

You can further reduce the risk by taking the following steps: Wash your hands when you get home from the grocery store. Place your groceries on a surface you can clean. Unpack your groceries, clean the surface, and wash your hands again. If you are particularly worried, you can wipe down glass jars, cans, plastic tubs, etc., with a disinfecting wipe or transfer the contents to a new container.  

Source: Thanks