An outbreak of respiratory tract diseases which can be traced back to an infection with a new type of coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified in Asia. According to the current state of scientific knowledge, it is unlikely that the pathogen can be transmitted to humans via food.
The transmission of known coronaviruses to humans generally occurs via the air as a droplet infection. Close contact with an animal carrying the virus or an infected person is required for this to happen. According to the current state of scientific knowledge, there is no proof yet for the possibility of humans becoming infected via contact with products, consumer goods or via food even with the current outbreak.
Thorough care should be taken to comply with hygiene rules when handling and preparing raw meat and meat products, taking into account that other pathogens may also be contained therein.
The following general hygiene guidelines apply:
- store and prepare raw meat products and other foods separately, especially if the latter have not yet been heated,
- clean equipment and surfaces which have been in contact with raw meat products thoroughly with warm water and detergent,
- dispose of packaging materials, thawing water and similar immediately,
- wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap and
- cook meals prepared with raw meat products thoroughly, which means that a core temperature of 70 °C must be achieved for at least 2 minutes.