COVID-19: Keeping Food Secure

Shelves of a CVS pharmacy are stripped of hand sanitizer amid novel coronavirus fears in New York ( Catherine Koppel - REUTERS )

If you’ve walked through a grocery store in the past week you’ve undoubtedly seen emptied shelves, coolers and meat counters. As Americans prepare for quarantine, beef, pork, poultry and shelf-stable items are among the first to go, following toilet paper, of course.

In the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak, some Americans are left without certainty of where their food is coming from or if it will be there when they need it. However, the Trump administration expects that even if an area gets quarantined, the movement of goods and products will continue.

President Trump and USDA’s secretary Sonny Purdue recently spoke with more than two dozen food and grocery store executives on a phone call, according to Pro Farmer’s Washing correspondent Jim Wiesmeyer. The purpose was to discuss the food supply chain during the coronavirus outbreak and making sure food and essentials are constantly available.

“Most, if not all of the executives, from what I can tell said that the process [for delivering safe food products] is working,” Wiesemeyer says.  “It’s just that the run on various supplies, the paper towels, sanitizers, etc., just exceeded, if not accelerated, their normal delivery of those products.”

President Trump recently urged Americans note to horde essentials, instead buy as they would normally. During this conference, they also discussed seed and fertilizer to make sure those shipments continue as well.

What you need to know about food safety in the midst of COVID-19

USDA’s FDA helps answer frequently asked questions in relation to the food supply and safety of food products:

Question: Is food imported to the U.S. from China and other countries affected by coronavirus disease 2019, at risk of spreading COVID-19?

  • Answer: Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.

Question: Are food products produced in the U.S. a risk for the spread of COVID-19?

  • Answer: There is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.

For more frequently asked questions, visit FDA’s website.


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