No proof that COVID-19 can spread through food, national health body says

Updated: Jun 19, 2020 Print
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There is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through food products, including seafood, the National Health Commission said on June 18.

The recent cluster of infections tied to the Xinfadi wholesale market in Beijing, a sprawling trade market supplying large amounts of meat, seafood, vegetables and fruits to the capital, has raised concerns about the safety of consuming seafood products and vegetables traced to the venue.

In an article published on its official WeChat account, the commission said research shows that the novel coronavirus mainly transmits though respiratory droplets and close contact. Aerosol transmission — droplets carrying the virus that mix with the air and are inhaled — is possible if one is exposed to a highly concentrated mixture in an enclosed area for an extended period.

"Other transmission routes are yet to be confirmed," it said.

The commission also suggested using separate chopping boards for raw ingredients and cooked foods, avoid eating sashimi and salad, and peel fruits before eating.

People are asked to properly wash hands before and after handling foods. Steaming kitchen utensils for 15 minutes can work to thoroughly disinfect them, it said.

It is also suggested to heat packaged, cook foods before eating, refrain from storing large bulks of vegetables during summer.


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