The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) has recently confirmed that in it’s opinion COVID-19 cannot be considered as a food safety hazard.
There is no evidence to this point that there is any link between eating or handling food and COVID-19 infections, so the ICMSF considers that this virus should not be seen as a food safety risk.
There are certainly food safety issues associated with COVID-19, particularly in relation to potential staff absences due to testing, isolation or illness, and new infection control practices and the impact these may have on production and operations.
The ICMSF is recommending that food businesses,especially those dealing with the public, build the required COVID-19 Safety plans into their current food safety programs and systems.
Although food businesses should already be good at handwashing and cleaning, new controls like the social distancing and, now, masks in workplaces need to be included in everyday management.
Local council Environmental Health Officers and Food Safety / Quality System Auditors will now be including checking of COVID-19 Safe Plans as part of their audits and inspections of food businesses.
To read the full ICMSF opiniongo to https://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-09/ICMSF%202020-COVID-19-final%20opinion.pdf