Many of us have questions about how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the transmission of COVID-19. Today’s question – can the virus be spread through food?

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC) has a lot of great information to help us stay informed. They say that COVID-19 doesn’t appear to be transmitted by eating food contaminated with the virus. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be mindful of our hand hygiene! Remember to wash your hands well before preparing or eating food, just like you usually would. 

Here are a few other useful facts from the BC CDC when it comes to food safety:

  • Normal cooking temperatures for foods will kill COVID-19 and other microbes in food. 
  • COVID-19 is a virus and doesn’t grow. If the COVID-19 virus is on the surface of food and that food is stored in a cupboard, fridge, or freezer, there is no evidence that it can grow or multiply further. It isn’t known yet if COVID-19 can survive refrigerator or freezer temperatures.
  • There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through food made by infected people. To be safe though, if you are sick with COVID-19, it’s best not to prepare or handle food for others.
  • There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through eating or touching raw fruits or vegetables. 
Remember, it’s a good idea to always wash your hands with soap and water when handling food at home:
  • Before, during and after preparing foods
  • After handling any raw foods
  • Before eating foods
  • After using the washroom
  • After touching pets
  • After changing diapers
  • After wiping runny noses or any hand contact with your face or your child’s face

For more details about anything mentioned above, please visit the food safety information on the COVID-19 section of the BC CDC website. 

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Where do we fit in?

Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation.

About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.