Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Food Safety

April 22, 2020

Updated on August 28, 2020


The Food Safety Commission of Japan (FSCJ) provides information related to COVID-19 and food safety by carefully reviewing information updated by public agencies both in Japan and abroad. The information is also available on FSCJ’s Facebook and official blog.

No scientific evidence of COVID-19 transmission through food 

Novel coronavirus is primarily infected through respiratory droplets and person-to-person contact routes. Currently, there is no evidence or information that COVID-19 can be occured through contact with food (i.e. seafood, fruits, and vegetables eaten raw) or food packaging. (ref. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8)


Food workers and handlers are strongly advised to maintain the routine hygiene practices including thorough and frequent handwashing as well as to follow cough etiquette to prevent food, food packaging or containers from being exposed to respiratory droplets. To avoid transmission of COVID-19 associated with food, it is important for the food workers and handlers to appropriately practice good hygiene.


Handwashing at home is also extremely important to prevent food-borne and infectious diseases. Please wash your hands frequently and properly, especially when you come back home, use the toilet, cook a food and have a meal.

(ref. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8)

No evidence about specific food preventing COVID-19

Some websites give inaccurate and misleading information that specific foods or nutrients can prevent infection with the novel coronavirus, although there is no scientific evidence. (ref. 3, 4, and 7)


For example, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website “Myth busters” answers to a question on garlic that “there is no evidence eating garlic has protected people from COVID-19”. (ref. 3)


1. World Health Organization (WHO) “Coronavirus disease  (COVID-19) pandemic”別ウインドウで外部サイトが開きます


2. WHO “COVID-19 and food safety: guidance for food businesses”, the interim guidance外部サイトのPDFファイルを別ウインドウで開きます


3. WHO “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters”別ウインドウで外部サイトが開きます


4. WHO “Q&A: Food Safety and Nutrition related to COVID-19”別ウインドウで外部サイトが開きます


5. WHO Kobe Centre

A website for professionals responding to the COVID-19別ウインドウで外部サイトが開きます


6. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW)

Q and A on COVID-19 for the public別ウインドウで外部サイトが開きます



Q and A on COVID-19 for food-related business別ウインドウで外部サイトが開きます


8. U.S. Food Drug Administration (FDA)“Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)”別ウインドウで外部サイトが開きます


9. National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition別ウインドウで外部サイトが開きます




April 22, 2020