The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday said there is no credible evidence that food or food packaging is associated with or is a likely source of viral transmission of the coronavirus.
"While there are relatively few reports of the virus being detected on food and packaging, most studies focus primarily on the detection of the virus’ genetic fingerprint rather than evidence of transmission of virus resulting in human infection," the agency said.
"Given that the number of virus particles that could be theoretically picked up by touching a surface would be very small, and the amount needed for infection via oral inhalation would be very high, the chances of infection by touching the surface of food packaging or eating food is considered to be extremely low."
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the conclusion is based on the best available information from scientific bodies across the globe, including a continued international consensus that the risk is exceedingly low for transmission of the coronavirus to humans via food and food packaging.
The CDC said that out of more than 100 million cases of COVID-19, there is no "epidemiological evidence of food or food packaging as the source of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to humans."
The issue of COVID infecting humans through food packaging was arose last year for the seafood industry At the time, Beijing authorities called on Chinese importers to avoid frozen food coming from countries suffering severe COVID-19 outbreaks after reports that imported seafood and its packaging had tested positive for the virus.
The National Fisheries Institute (NFI), the largest seafood trade association in the United States, encourages companies and countries to ensure their actions and policies are based on scientific fact.