- COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus which is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans, so there is still a lot of uncertainty
- Food has not been identified as a likely source or route of transmission of the virus
- The global food sector may be impacted both economically and socially, in relation to: human resources, such as changes in key personnel; supply chains of ingredients, packaging, finished products and equipment; sourcing as manufacturers may need to rely on alternative suppliers at short notice; transportation of people, materials and goods.
Hygiene and Food Safety
- Food handlers are expected to already be well informed and trained about hand hygiene in factory operations (including washrooms and canteens). In the event of lack of access to hand-washing facilities with soap and warm water, sanitisers can be used, but are not as effective if hands are visibly soiled. Please refer to IFST’s Food Science Fact Sheet on ‘Hand Hygiene’ https://www.ifst.org/sites/default/files/Hand_Hygiene.pdf
- Meat products can be safely consumed if cooked thoroughly and handled properly, and WHO guidance mentions that individuals with underlying medical conditions should avoid contact with live animal markets and wild animals
- In line with food safety best practice, good hygiene is important to avoid cross-contamination between raw or undercooked foods and cooked or ready to eat foods, in food preparation areas.
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