Coffee (and food in general) does not transmit COVID-19

Friday, 20 March, 2020

Understanding transmission of the virus is obviously key to helping slow it down. Research from the European Food Safety Authority has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and we welcome their current standpoint, which is that coffee (ie the raw/roasted product) does not transmit the virus. Please see their press release below.

We are sharing this information direct from Communicaffe

ROME, Italy – The European Food Safety Authority – EFSA is closely monitoring the situation regarding the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that is affecting a large number of countries across the globe. There is currently no evidence that food – including coffee – is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus.

EFSA’s chief scientist, Marta Hugas, said: “Experiences from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), show that transmission through food consumption did not occur. At the moment, there is no evidence to suggest that coronavirus is any different in this respect.”

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has said that while animals in China were the likely source of the initial infection, the virus is spreading from person to person – mainly respiratory droplets that people sneezecough, or exhale.

More information on coronavirus and food can be found in this FAQ by the BfR, Germany’s risk assessment body.

Scientists and authorities across the world are monitoring the spread of the virus and there have not been any reports of transmission through food. For this reason, EFSA is not currently involved in the response to the COVID-19 outbreaks. However, they are monitoring the scientific literature for new and relevant information.

Regarding food safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued precautionary recommendations including advice on following good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as washing handscooking meat thoroughly and avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods. More information can be found on the WHO website.

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