Food businesses and COVID-19

Advice from NSW Food Authority for Food businesses and COVID-19

Currently there is no evidence of foodborne transmission being a significant pathway. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) provides further advice about this.

There are no direct food safety measures as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Like SARS and MERS, COVID-19 is spread via person-to-person transmission (coughing, contaminated surfaces and fomites, and close contact with an infected individual). More information for businesses can be found on the NSW Health website.

At a minimum, businesses must adhere to existing requirements of food laws, specifically:

  • Maintain and practice frequent hand washing when preparing foods, after going to the bathroom, and after touching the face or hair

  • Maintain thorough cleaning and sanitising of facilities, equipment, and transport vehicles (including food contact surfaces and equipment, but also door handles, light switches, floors, walls, and other areas)

  • Maintain strict requirements around worker health and hygiene. Any worker with a suspected communicable disease (such as coughing, sneezing, flu-like symptoms, gastrointestinal illness) MUST be excluded from the workplace.

There are penalties under existing food legislation for businesses not complying with these requirements.

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