29 Nov 2022
The study’s results shows that the virus’s survival varied depending on the foods and food packaging examined. On some foods, such as cheese and ham, the virus survived for several days. On others, such as apples and olives, virus levels dropped quickly. For most food products tested there was a ‘significant drop’ in the levels of virus contamination over the first 24 hours. These findings confirm that the overall risk to consumers from coronavirus via food remains very low.
The laboratory-based study involved the artificial contamination of coronavirus onto the surfaces of a wide range of foods including various fruits and vegetables, cheese, meats, bread and pastries, and food packaging including plastic trays and bottles, drinks cans and cartons.
The results from this study will not lead to a change in our current advice that there is no need to take additional precautions because of COVID when handling food as long as good hygienic practices are observed. However, they will form part of the evidence considered by the FSA for future risk assessments.
Click Survival of SARS-CoV-2 on food surfaces: Executive Summary | Food Standards Agency to view the full research project report.