Imported Food safe from Coronavirus in India
With World Health Organization (WHO) declaring spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic, the general public is becoming insecure. In this regard, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (hereinafter referred to as ‘FSSAI’) has issued a clarification through a press release dated March 05, 2020, stating food products imported to India from other countries including countries affected from Corona virus (COVID-19) are safe to eat.
FSSAI’s press release can be accessed here.
FSSAI has issued this clarification in furtherance to the concerns raised regarding safety of foods imported from China and other coronavirus affected countries. In this regard, FSSAI had constituted a Committee of experts to examine the possibility of the presence of corona virus in the imported food items. The said Committee concluded that there is no conclusive evidence regarding food borne transmission of the corona virus. The virus is predominantly spread from human to human through air contact or through affected surfaces.
Additionally, FSSAI has also clarified that the consumption of cooked meat including poultry is safe to eat. However, as a precautionary measure, the Committee has advised to avoid consumption of raw or uncooked meat and has also pressed on the importance of good hygienic practices before consuming raw fruits or vegetables.
Apart from the contextual press release, FSSAI is keeping a close watch on the entire situation and is continuously moving ahead with the required research. It is also gathering evidence from other international agencies and scientific communities to know more about the inter-relation of food and corona virus and shall accordingly issue notification/ news in the said background from time to time.