COVID-19 is not a foodborne illness. The virus causes illness through respiratory transmission, not eating. There have been no reports that anyone has become sick from COVID-19 by eating food. COVID-19 transmission occurs when people are physically close to a person who has the virus. The virus is transferred from one person to another through droplets that are produced when an infected individual coughs or sneezes, or through close contact such as a handshake, hug or other physical types of greetings. COVID-19 can also transmit by touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching the mouth or eyes before washing the hands.
During this time of uncertainty, farmers and consumers have many questions regarding food safety and COVID-19. Yaohua “Betty” Feng, Purdue University assistant professor of food science, has compiled information from nationwide food safety experts on a central reference website. The website outlines food safety best practices, including personal hygiene, grocery shopping recommendations and guidelines for farmers.
Educational Materials for Adults
The University of Illinois FarmDoc team is offering a series of webinars to discuss the impact the coronavirus crisis on Corn Belt agriculture.
Educational Materials for Children
While Illinois schools are under mandatory closures, Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom will be developing virtual Everyday Agriculture lessons and activities following a daily agriculturally based theme. These materials are designed for students ages Kindergarten through 8th Grade. Follow along on the IAITC blog or share with your followers from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.