Informative of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

17 March 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

The CICC F&B Working Group is glad to share with you a note from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a press release, stating that currently there is no evidence that food is a source or method of transmission of the coronavirus. The press release, fully provided below, is available in Italian, French, English, and German at the following link: www.efsa.europa.eu/en/news/coronavirus-no-evidence-food-source-or-transmission-route. It is essential to widely share this information, in particular among importers and distributors of Italian food, to overcome the difficulties many companies are facing on the logistic of Italian goods on foreign markets, and thus safeguard the Italian products.

As is well known, the EFSA is an European Union agency headquartered in Parma, which provides specialized consulting activities allowing European Institutions to make effective and timely decisions on risk management, with the purpose of protect European consumers’ health, and safeguard the food chain.

“Coronavirus: there is no evidence that food is source or method of transmission”

The EFSA is closely monitoring the situation related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, which is affecting a large number of Countries all over the world. Currently, there is no evidence that food is a likely source or method of transmission of the virus.

Marta Hugas, EFSA Scientific Director, said: "Experiences with previous coronavirus epidemic outbreaks, as the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV), and the middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV), show that there was no transmission via consumption of food. Currently, there is no evidence that the coronavirus is different in any way ".

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) declared that, while animals were the likely initial source of infection in China, the virus is now spreading from person to person, mainly via respiratory droplets that people release while sneezing, coughing, and breathing out. More information on the coronavirus and food is available on FAQ of the BfR, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment.

Scientists and institutions from all over the world are monitoring the spread of the virus and there are no reports on transmission via food. Therefore, the EFSA is not currently involved in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, it is inspecting the scientific literature for any new and relevant information.

With regard to food safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) enacted a series of precautions recommendations, including advice on good hygiene practices when handling and preparing food, as washing hands, cooking meat well-done, and avoiding potential cross-contamination between raw and cooked food. More information is available on the WHO website. "

 

Kind Regards,  

CICC F&B Working Group

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