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FDA shares latest guidelines on handling food packaging amid coronavirus

The Food and Drug Administration has reiterated there is no evidence of food packaging being associated with the transmission of the coronavirus.

As the country continues to battle the coronavirus (COVID-19), many consumers have taken extra precautions to shopping at the grocery store.

But while some may be concerned about the possibility of catching the highly contagious virus from touching food packaging that hasn't been wiped down, the Food and Drug Administration says there's no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of the coronavirus.

"We want to reassure consumers that there is currently no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,'' the FDA wrote in a news release. "This particular coronavirus causes respiratory illness and is spread from person-to-person, unlike foodborne gastrointestinal or GI viruses, such as norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food."

Added NBC investigative and consumer correspondent Vicky Nguyen on Monday's episode of TODAY: "You're really more likely to get it from going to the grocery store and touching a dirty handle or doorknob and then touching your face."

Additionally, Nguyen shared the following tips for those looking to take extra precautions while shopping for food:

  • When you get home, use a disinfectant wipe on food packaging. Make sure you don't use any such wipes on the food itself.
  • Leave your groceries out for 24 hours, or more, to kill any live virus that may be on package surfaces.
  • If you are unable to perform the first two steps, put the groceries away and wash your hands thoroughly immediately afterward.

"Just remember, the main modes of transmission are going to be coughing and sneezing, being in close proximity with other people or touching those high-touch surfaces when you're out and about," Nguyen said.

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