Everything you need to know about the coronavirus and seafood safety

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic is affecting industries around the world, and seafood is no exception. With high anxiety and fear surrounding the virus, misinformation can spread quickly as everyone tries to figure out a rapid change in lifestyle. Here’s what you need to know about how the coronavirus affects seafood safety, according to public health professionals.

There is no evidence to suggest that the coronavirus can be spread through food products or food packaging

At this time, there is no evidence of transmission of COVID-19 through food. According to FDA regarding consumer product safety: “Again, we want to reassure the public that at present there is no evidence that food or food packaging has been associated with transmission and no reason to. to worry “.

The source of the virus is still unknown

According to World Health Organization, there has been no confirmed animal source of COVID-19. According to the most recent situation report As of March 14, the virus has a living animal source, but this source is unknown at this time. However, the WHO offers the following precautionary advice: “When visiting live animal markets, avoid direct contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals”. or animal organs with care to avoid contamination of uncooked food and to avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products ”. These precautions are no different from normal food safety precautions.

In addition, the WHO declares that receiving packages from an area where COVID-19 has been reported is safe: “The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus. that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled and exposed to different conditions and the temperature is also low ”.

Food safety rules will not be changed

The FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety of imported and domestic seafood in the market and this is done through several measures, including assessments of foreign countries and inspections of foreign processing facilities.

FDA announcement that it will suspend most foreign inspections until April. However, continued surveillance of imported goods will not be compromised and will be addressed through “alternative tools and methods”, including physical inspections on imports, product sampling and rejection of products deemed unsafe.

The coronavirus pandemic is also affecting seafood retailers, fishermen and fish farmers

Increased health and safety measures could affect seafood supply chains and many seafood suppliers are looking for alternative markets. Import restrictions and blockages in Italy, France and Spain, local fishermen and seafood suppliers are wreaking havoc, and consumer purchasing behavior is also changing. Online orders of frozen and processed fish are a lot upper now that many avoid fresh fish altogether and choose to stay home rather than visit the markets.

There are still many unknowns regarding COVID-19 and the situation is constantly changing. Up-to-date information is available through the World Health Organization, Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the National Institutes of Health.

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