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Food Safety Focus (163rd Issue, February 2020) – Food Incident Highlight

Novel Coronavirus Infection and Food Safety

The recent outbreak of novel coronavirus aroused high public concern. Although epidemiological findings revealed that some patients are business operators at a seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, further investigation is still on-going to identify the source of infection. So far, there is no report that the virus is transmitted via food.

Nevertheless, as a general advice, the public should implement good food safety measures. Hands and utensils should be cleaned before and after food preparation. The virus is not heat resistant and food should be thoroughly cooked to a core temperature of at least 75°C. Cooked and raw food should be prepared and stored separately to avoid cross contamination.

When travelling outside Hong Kong, travellers should avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms and do not consume game. Game, meat, poultry and eggs should not be imported without valid health certificates.

For updated food safety information on novel coronavirus, please visit the website of the Centre for Food Safety and refer to the "Food Safety Advice on Prevention of Novel Coronavirus and FAQs".