The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued “COVID-19 and food safety: guidance for food businesses,” which provides information on the risks of transmission of COVID-19 in the food and beverage industry. “It is highly unlikely that people can contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging,” the guidance states. “Coronaviruses cannot multiply in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply.” Instead, it urges industry to “reinforce personal hygiene measures and provide refresher training on food hygiene principles to eliminate or reduce the risk of food surfaces and food packaging materials becoming contaminated with the virus from food workers.” The guidance provides specifics on hygiene standards, such as open food displays and the use of disposable gloves.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also provided several resources for food and beverage companies, including a list of frequently asked questions. The website features regularly updated questions on a number of issues, such as food-supply problems and shortages on hand sanitizer and related products. The European Commission issued a similar resource with questions and answers.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.