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Food Safety and COVID-19

Educational Objective
To understand the precautions that need to be taken while handling food during COVID-19 pandemic
1 Credit CME

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

SARS-CoV-2 is primarily transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets that enter the mouth, nose, or eyes by contaminated hands. There is no current evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted through food consumption.

To prevent transmission, maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other shoppers. Avoid shaking hands, hugs, or other physical contact. Try to wipe frequently touched surfaces like grocery carts or basket handles with disinfectant wipes, if available. Avoid touching your face. Wearing a cloth mask in the store may reduce your risk of getting infected and reminds others to participate in social distancing. Before leaving the store or while waiting in the checkout line, use hand sanitizer if available.

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Article Information

Published Online: April 9, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.5877

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Aronoff reported receiving funding from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Pfizer, Cayman Chemical Co, March of Dimes, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and serving as an advisory board consultant for Summit Therapeutics, NAEJA-RGM Pharmaceuticals, BLC, and Sanofi Pasteur. Dr Desai reported no disclosures.

Sources: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Food Safety and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Accessed March 29, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/newsletter/food-safety-and-Coronavirus.html.

Ong SWX, Tan YK, Chia PY, et al. Air, surface environmental, and personal protective equipment contamination by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from a symptomatic patient. JAMA. Published online March 4, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.3227

van Doremalean N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, Holbrook MG, Gamble A, Williamson BN. Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1. N Engl J Med. Published online March 17, 2020. doi:10.1056/NEJMc2004973

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