Can COVID-19 spread through our food supply?

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for over a year (and has quite literally affected the entire planet), we are finally getting to know our enemy—its strengths, weaknesses, and most importantly, how to conquer it.   

That’s why, today, I’d like to share yet another encouraging milestone: Learning how COVID-19 is actually transmitted. 

Food packaging isn’t a problem 

A handful of government agencies—including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that there’s no evidence that you’re likely to catch COVID-19 through food or food packaging.  

Which is something I’ve suspected and expected for a while now.  

At the height of the pandemic hysteria a year ago, no one had any idea what to expect about the severity of the virus, or how it was transmittedBetter safe than sorry was the rule of the day, which led to a new age of elaborate grocery sanitizing rituals and fears over the safety of delivery and takeout food.  

Of course, researchers found small amounts of viral particles on food and packaging—which is what triggered the alarm in the first place. But it’s clear now that COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that primarily spreads person to person. 

And as we discussed yesterday, you would need a much greater concentration of particles—a higher viral load—to cause an infection. That’s just the way viruses work.  

Stay safe, start cooking  

Of course, in hindsight, common sense should have caused us to second guess whether COVID-19 is really that easy to catch (through food packaging). Because if it were, we all would have had it, whether or not large public gatherings were cancelled until further notice. 

(This reminds me of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Because at the beginning, it was completely unknown how that virus was transmitted either. Back then, the big question was whether something as innocuous as kissing could spread the virus. But I always took the argument that, if it were that transmissible, wouldn’t everyone have it? After all, kissing is a common thing among partners of any sexual orientation.) 

But, ultimately, the more we know, the closer we are to the other side.  

And we now know at least these two scientific facts: 

So, again—and always—I encourage you to start cooking healthy meals at home. You don’t even have to do it alone! Invite a vaccinated friend or loved one over to join you. (When in doubt, each of you can get tested and quarantine before enjoying each other’s company.)  

Or simply come join me from the comfort of your very own kitchen by tuning into my new show, Cooking with Dr. Fred, on Instagram (@DrFredNYC) or YouTube (“The Dr. Fred Show”). You can also order a copy of my book, The A-List Diet, for countless delicious, healthy recipes. 


“No Evidence Coronavirus Spreads Through Food or Food Packaging: FDA.” HealthDay News, 02/18/21. (