Is there a risk of getting Coronavirus from food packaging?

Coronavirus: Can be transmitted through food packaging

Recently, it was stated that there were traces of coronavirus in China, frozen shrimp and chicken wings from South America.

This situation raised the question of whether the coronavirus was transmitted from food packaging.

Theoretically, there is a possibility of Covid-19 contamination from packaging materials.

In vitro studies have shown that the virus can survive for hours, if not days, mostly on cardboard and some types of plastic.

What’s more, the virus has a greater chance of surviving at the low temperatures where most food is transported.

After the rise of coronavirus cases in the world, people are aware of the danger. So, is there a possibility of virus (disease) transmission from packaged foods?


How can the virus spread quickly?

Respiratory science expert Dr. Julian Tang said that environmental conditions in the outside world are changing rapidly, which means the virus cannot survive for that long.

Professor of microbiology at Rutgers University, Emanuel Goldman, also stated that samples with 10 million virus particles were used in laboratory studies, for example, in droplets sneezed onto a surface, there were around 100 virus particles.

Goldman wrote in a Lancet article last month, “In my opinion, it is very unlikely that it can be transmitted from non-life-form surfaces. And it can only happen if an infected person coughs or sneezes on the surface and someone else touches that surface after a short time (after an hour or two). he wrote.

The risk of spreading the virus is often based on the assumption that workers in food packaging facilities touch infected surfaces, then their eyes, nose or mouth.

Experts do not currently think this is the route of transmission in most Covid-19 cases.

“It is possible for a person to become Covid-19 by touching an infected surface or object. But this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads,” says the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.

In fact, the main way the virus spreads is through direct human-to-human contact;

  1. People in close contact with each other (less than 2 meters away)
  2. Droplets that come out when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks
  3. These droplets coming into the mouth, nose or inhalation of nearby people
  4. Dr. Tang says it is also difficult to prove that someone contracted the virus through food packaging.

Because it is necessary to be able to clearly exclude all other possible sources, including asymptomatic social contacts.


How can we be safe?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 transmitted through food or food packaging so far. However, WHO also listed some measures to prevent contamination.

While WHO says there is no need to disinfect food packaging, “hands should be washed properly after handling food packaging and before eating.”

If you are shopping for groceries, use hand sanitizer before going inside if possible and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Also, after touching and placing shopping.

Shopping delivered by an officer who pays attention to personal hygiene and food hygiene is also considered safe. However, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly after receiving. Some experts also recommend using plastic bags once.

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