Staying vigilant on the frontline of food safety

24 June 2020

There is no evidence that Covid-19 is transmitted through food or food packaging.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said Australian consumers can continue to have confidence in the safety of their food.

“Australia’s food safety standards are among the highest in the world,” Minister Littleproud said.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic, our food production and distribution chains have stepped up and lifted their standards even higher.

“Not only are they keeping food on the shelves, they’re minimising the spread of this virus.

“While it’s regrettable that a Coles worker has contracted Covid-19, the main risk of transmission of Covid-19 is from close person to person, not from food or drink.

“Australian food regulators, the World Health Organization, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and other international health and food safety authorities have been consistent with this advice.

“This incident highlights the need for all of us to stay vigilant and for anyone involved in food production or handling who exhibit Covid-19 symptoms to self-isolate and get tested. 

“FSANZ has developed protocols to handle situations like this so consumers can continue to have confidence in the safety of the food they buy. This includes advice on how food producers can clean and disinfect their premises to limit the risk of human to human transmission.

“The Australian Government has been working with states and territories to ensure these protocols are followed.

“In early April I wrote to all state and territories, to seek endorsement of FSANZ protocols and a national approach to Covid-19 protocols for food handling business and jurisdictions have confirmed their endorsement of these protocols.

“I commend businesses across the supply chain for the measures they’ve put in place to minimise the impact of this illness.”

Advice and information can be found at FSANZ’s dedicated webpage on coronavirus and food safety.