The new coronavirus is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets and contact when a person coughs or sneezes. There has been no report of transmission of COVID-19 via consumption of food to date.
Can the COVID-19 coronavirus be transmitted through surfaces or utensils?
In most cases, the virus transmits between people through droplets in close contact. The virus may last on surfaces, and infection is possible also through contact with surfaces such as door handles or utensils that have been contaminated by droplets coughed by an infected person. However, this is not considered to be the main mode of transmission. For more information on enhanced cleaning of customer premises, visit the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health website.
Surfaces touched by customers (door handles, railings, chairs, tables, payment terminals, toilet and bathroom facilities, etc.) must be cleaned carefully and as often as possible. Buttons and handles that come into contact with customers must be cleaned more frequently than normal.
Utensils and non-packaged sales
Particular care should be given on utensils used by customers in sales outlets for non-prepacked items, for example. Utensils should be replaced and washed more frequently than normal. Where possible, disposable utensils or utensils that can be washed after each use should be used. Increased care should be given to washing dishes and dispensers used for serving. Hand sanitizer should be available to customers in the vicinity of the sales outlet.
In stores and sales outlets for non-prepacked items, particular attention should be given on instructing staff and customers on the importance of hand hygiene. At the seller’s discretion, sales of non-prepacked items may switch to over-the-counter sales or the packing of products by store staff or stopped entirely.
Depending on the situation and at their discretion, municipal food control authorities or may provide supplementary instructions or recommendations to the guidelines.