Whole Latte Love Blog

Coffee and Coronavirus (COVID-19): What You Should Know

by Ed McGuire Updated: March 27, 2020 4 min read

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Many of us are at home doing our best to prevent the spread of COVID-19, either working remote, or otherwise isolating ourselves. If you enjoy coffee, you might be wondering how or if at all coronavirus interacts with coffee.

Thankfully, our scientific awareness of the virus is only increasing as the days go on, and that means your questions have documented answers. Here, we'll provide those answers for your peace of mind.

Is Coffee Safe to Consume?

Currently, research says yes, coffee is safe to consume despite its production or import from countries affected by COVID-19. Below, we'll have some information taken directly from the FDA and CDC to support this. But first, we'd like to take a moment to discuss how we receive our coffee, and what that means for you.

It is important to keep in mind that the coffee we stock is made in large batches and shipped overseas on containers. Typically, these overseas shipments take 30 days to complete their journey to the United States.

To retain aroma and freshness throughout the trip, manufacturers employ several packaging techniques like nitrogen flushing, one-way valves, and airtight bags. This extends the life of the coffee significantly and keeps our confidence in its quality. More importantly, this procedure overall happens to help protect against the spread of COVID-19, as according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

All of this is to say that yes, according to esteemed research and scientific sources, the coffee you want is safe. For more, we've collected some pertinent information about this from the FDA. The full article can be found here

Is food imported to the United States from China and other countries affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), at risk of spreading COVID-19?

This question and answer are provided by the FDA, which has stated the following:

Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.

Are food products produced in the United States a risk for the spread of COVID-19?

This question and answer are provided by the FDA, which has stated the following:

There is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.

Can I get sick with COVID-19 from touching food, the food packaging, or food contact surfaces, if the coronavirus was present on it?

This question and answer are provided by the FDA, which has stated the following:

Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. For that reason, it is critical to follow the 4 key steps of food safety—clean, separate, cook, and chill.

Should food facilities (grocery stores, manufacturing facilities, restaurants, etc.) perform any special cleaning or sanitation procedures for COVID-19?

This question and answer are provided by the FDA, which has stated the following:

CDC recommends routine cleaning of all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. CDC does not recommend any additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning at this time.

View the EPA-registered disinfectant products on the Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 list that have qualified under EPA's emerging viral pathogen program for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Restaurants and retail food establishments are regulated at the state and local level. State, local, and tribal regulators use the Food Code published by the FDA to develop or update their own food safety rules. Generally, FDA-regulated food manufacturers are required to maintain clean facilities, including, as appropriate, clean and sanitized food contact surfaces, and to have food safety plans in place. Food safety plans include a hazards analysis and risk-based preventive controls and include procedures for maintaining clean and sanitized facilities and food contact surfaces. See: FSMA Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food.

Wrapping Up

It's most important now, more than ever, that we work together and take this crisis as seriously as possible. In a state of anxiety and worry, we hope that this information reaches you and helps, at least in part, to put you at ease.

Please, be safe, and follow all precautions to keep yourself and others protected. Our hearts go out to you all.

Ed McGuire
Ed McGuire

Ed joined on at Whole Latte Love in 2017 with a particular hatred for bad coffee. We keep him in a room on the other side of the office with a keyboard and an internet connection so he can write about it. He writes and edits product copy, blog posts, scripts, and wiki content in an effort to keep our customers from ever drinking bad coffee again. Ed is afraid of the sun and drinks his coffee black.