You asked, we answered: ‘Can I get sick from meat packaged at factories where COVID-19 spread?’

Can processing plant workers who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 send the coronavirus into your home through the food they’ve been in contact with?

It’s a question you’ve written in to ask us. The answer has a couple levels and isn’t clear.

According to both the FDA and CDC, there’s no evidence you can get the virus by swallowing food that has the virus on it.

You’d get it from respiratory droplets from a sick person who has coughed or sneezed being transferred to your mouth, eyes or nose.

So, could those droplets be on the packaging if it was handled by a sick person at the processing plant?


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Researchers say while the virus can live on plastic for several days, it becomes less infectious over time. So, if it were to be on the meat or packaging, by the time it gets to you, the threat of transmitting the virus has dropped.

But they do recommend normal meat preparation standards of washing and disinfecting all surfaces the raw meat and its packaging have touched, as well as thoroughly washing your hands.

Michelle Murillo

Michelle Murillo has been a part of the WTOP family since 2014. She started her career in Central Florida before working in radio in New York City and Philadelphia.

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