SARS-CoV-2 in Food Supply Chain

The world is facing a crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, which has resulted in the closure of many businesses. Many employers can telework and work from home, however, food supply chain personnel from farm to retail levels do not have this opportunity to work from home to address food security concerns. Meanwhile, keeping all workers in the food supply chains healthy and safe is challenging for food supply chain stakeholders. Our knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 survival on foods, and food contact surfaces, and in response to different disinfection methods, is very limited. In addition, the fate of virus and how it can be transferred through the food supply chain has not been addressed yet. Thus, these significant limitations highlighted the unmet needs to develop a systematic research approaches, and training materials for industry. The specific aims of this proposed research are: (a) Assess survival of SARS-CoV-2 on different foods, food contact surfaces, and packaging materials under different conditions; (b) Determine the efficacy of different conventionally used and novel sanitizers against SARS-CoV-2 on food and food contact surfaces; (c) Measure the transfer rate from hands to foods and food contact surfaces to best mimic the fate of virus; (d) Develop education materials for food supply chain stakeholders, including farmers, food production workers, food retailers and consumers.

Funding: This research was funded by the

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture 2020-68003- 32876.

USDA NIFA
Sanitizing Surfaces

Team 

Dr. Reza Ovissi, Assistant Professor of Food Safety Engineering 

Dr. Andrea Bertke, Associate Professor of Virology

Dr. Renee Boyer, Professor of Food Safety and Consumer Services

Dr. Laura Strawn, Associate Professor of Food Safety Extension

Dr. Michael Schwarz, Director of Seafood AREC, Extension

Dr. Tiffany Drape, Assistant Professor of Agriculture Education

Abigail Villalba, Food Safety Extension

Dr. Janak Dhakal, Postdoc, Research

Dr. Lester Schonberger, Postdoc, Extension

Dr. Cameron Bardsley, Postdoc, Extension

Dr. Mo Jia, Postdoc, Research

Thet Aung, M.Sc. student, Extension 

Jonathan Joyce, Ph.D. student, Research

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