Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for consumers about food safety and animal health
Last updated: 2021-08-25 09:15 (EDT)
For the latest updates from the Government of Canada on COVID-19, including preventative measures, visit Canada.ca/coronavirus.
As the COVID-19 pandemic develops, the information on this page will be updated regularly.
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Food safety and COVID-19
Canada's food safety system and COVID-19
Canada's food safety system is strong.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is taking action to preserve the integrity of Canada's food safety system, while safeguarding its animal and plant resource base.
If the CFIA becomes aware of a potential food safety risk, appropriate actions will be taken to protect Canada's food supply.
COVID-19 transmission through food
Scientists and food safety authorities around the world are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or its new variants being spread through food or food packaging. Guidance released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations advises that neither food nor food packaging is a pathway for the spread of COVID-19.
All Canadians should continue to follow good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as:
- washing hands
- regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
- cooking meat thoroughly
- avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods
Consult Health Canada's website for food safety tips.
Impact of COVID-19 on food recalls
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CFIA will continue to inform the public of food recalls.
Stay connected with the CFIA on social media and subscribe to email notifications to get the latest food recalls.
Impact of COVID-19 on food supply chain and food shortages
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CFIA is delivering critical services that protect food safety, animal health, plant health and market access. Appropriate oversight of domestic production and imported food products are essential to providing safe food for consumers while supporting trade and the supply chain.
The Government of Canada works in close collaboration with industry and its federal, provincial and territorial partners.
Learn more about how the Government of Canada will maintain a safe and stable food supply.
Impact of COVID-19 on CFIA services
Due to the nature of a pandemic, the CFIA is adjusting its activities to take into account the evolving situation. Ongoing reviews of CFIA inspection and service delivery will be undertaken as the situation progresses.
The CFIA is providing regular guidance to industry including information on temporary changes to CFIA services.
Animal health and COVID-19
The Government of Canada is working diligently to address the evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation, including the impacts on animal health. Additional information about animals and COVID-19 is available on the Government of Canada's website.
CFIA scientific studies confirm that domestic poultry and swine do not pose a public health risk of transmitting COVID-19
Domestic poultry and swine do not transmit COVID-19
Susceptibility studies led by CFIA scientists on domestic turkeys, chickens and pigs confirmed that these animals do not spread SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, to humans, animals or the environment. CFIA scientists demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 does not replicate in domestic turkeys and chicken and replicates poorly in domestic swine under laboratory conditions. The studies also showed that these animals did not carry the virus in their tissues used for human consumption. For more information, please visit Authorea for the study on poultry and BioRxiv for the study on swine.
Canada protects public health through science
These scientific studies further support Canada's actions to protect food safety, food supply and market access as well as Canada's leadership role in animal health sciences and the fight against COVID-19.
There is currently no scientific evidence that food or food packaging is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus. Consumers should continue to follow good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation and livestock producers should continue to follow normal biosecurity measures.
- Government of Canada provides $20 million to safeguard Canada's food supply by supporting critical food inspection services
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