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Can I Catch Coronavirus From Eating Food?

A delicious red apple. (<A HREF="">Yulia Khlebnikova/Unsplash</a>)
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"Will I get sick if I eat food with coronavirus on it?"

This is one of the questions I get asked the most. The short answer is: probably not. The USDA and the FDA say they haven't seen any evidence that COVID-19 has been transmitted through eating food.

Why? Here's the longer answer:

Let's use a theoretical example where some COVID-19 droplets land on a bunch of apples. Viruses, unlike bacteria, can't grow in your food. With the passage of time, the amount of coronavirus on the surface of the apple would decrease.

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But let's say you buy one of these apples two minutes after it has been sneezed on and then take it home and decide not to wash it before you eat it. Even if you chomp down on this unwashed, "infected" apple, the coronavirus probably won't survive the acid in your stomach. So you would be unlikely to catch coronavirus from eating the apple.

However, you might catch coronavirus from touching the apple then touching your unwashed fingers to your mouth or nose.

It's a minor distinction but the upshot is this: You are unlikely to catch coronavirus from eating food but you might catch coronavirus from touching food then touching your face... SO WASH YOUR HANDS!