Food, pets and animals

Food safety

Previous experience shows no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Can Covid-19 be passed on through eating fruits and vegetables?

The COVID-19 virus does not thrive in fruits and vegetables, or other types of food according to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). COVID-19 is not a foodborne disease. It can, however, survive on food surface after a person infected with COVID-19 sneezes, coughs on the food or touches it, although it is not known for how long. It is however, very unlikely that the virus can travel when food is transported between countries. It is important that you rinse fruit and vegetables well before consumption. If you are in isolation, you should not prepare food for others.

Can the virus be transmitted by food packaging?

It is very unlikely that you will be infected with the COVID-19 by food packaging. Still, remember to wash your hands thoroughly after you go shopping.

Can the virus spread through shopping carts and baskets in stores?

It is unlikely that shopping carts and baskets carry the virus. If an infected person coughs or sneezes on a cart or basket,or does not wash their hands after having coughed or sneezed into their hands,the infection could be transmitted from the surfaces touched by that person to the hands of another customer. If you wash your hands thoroughly before and after going shopping, the risk of contagion via such surfaces is low.

Harvesting of vegetables and manufacture of animal products

People who have been diagnosed with the virus causing COVID-19 may not work harvesting vegetables. According to the Regulation on the Hygiene of Food Production, directors of companies that manufacture food must adopt satisfactory measures in order to ensure that employees who handle food are healthy. People with no symptoms but have been ordered to self-quarantine due to potential COVID-19 infection, may work harvesting vegetables if no other people are working with them. Washing hands frequently, with soap, is the best protection against infection.

Guidelines and rules on COVID-19 infection and quarantine must be followed carefully during animal food production, as well as milking of cows and other tasks performed in cowsheds.


Can domestic animals or pets get infected with Covid-19 and can they get sick?

COVID-19 has not been found in domestic animals or pets, but the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Administration monitors development in this area.

Should people infected with COVID-19 avoid contact with animals?

There is no evidence that transmission from humans to animals is possible. COVID-19 is a new disease and it is still being investigated how it transmits and new information is constantly being produced. There is no reason for you not to be around your pet, as pets can provide important support in challenging times. It is wise to wash your hands thoroughly after contact with your pet an in general people should avoid letting dogs lick their faces. If you are in quarantine, you can take your dog for a walk, provided that home quarantine instructions are followed.

Related content