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No evidence that food poses Covid risk, expert says

Food technologist Russell Ramage said safety remained paramount and stringent personal hygiene measures were in place at factories.

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There is no evidence that food poses a risk to public health through transmission of coronavirus, Russell Ramage said (Daera/PA)

There is no evidence that food poses a risk to public health through transmission of coronavirus, Russell Ramage said (Daera/PA)

There is no evidence that food poses a risk to public health through transmission of coronavirus, Russell Ramage said (Daera/PA)

There is no evidence that food poses a risk to public health through transmission of coronavirus, an expert in Northern Ireland said.

The main mode of transmission is considered to be from person to person via respiratory droplets from infected people via sneezes, coughs or generated through exhaling, the Department of Agriculture said.

Food technologist Russell Ramage said safety remained paramount and stringent personal hygiene measures were in place at factories.

He added: “Despite the large scale of the pandemic, the latest scientific literature, including that from the Food Standards Agency and the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, note that, to date, there have been no reports of the transmission of Covid-19 via the consumption of food.

“There is no evidence that food poses a risk to public health in relation to Covid-19.”

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Extra training for staff has focused on the increased importance of food safety (Daera/PA).

Extra training for staff has focused on the increased importance of food safety (Daera/PA).

Extra training for staff has focused on the increased importance of food safety (Daera/PA).

Local producers have been keeping supermarket shelves stocked during the pandemic.

Mr Ramage said: “The agri-food industry in Northern Ireland continues to take measures to avoid contamination of the food they produce and distribute.

“The strict hygiene and food safety rules that already govern the production of food by our local producers are designed to avoid contamination of the food by harmful pathogenic bacteria.”

He said extra training for staff has focused on the increased importance of food safety.

“Particularly relevant are the already existing thorough procedures for cleaning and disinfection of food production facilities along with stringent personal hygiene procedures that cover hand washing, the use of gloves and masks, dedicated hygienic clothes and, where possible, working from home,” he said.

“There is every reason to believe they are as effective on Covid-19 as on the other microbiological risks in the food production chain.”

PA