Podcast Episode 145: What You Need to Know about Coronavirus & Food – Dr. Taylor Wallace

Mar 30, 2020

Food Safety & Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There’s a lot we still have to learn about coronavirus and how it spreads, but one question on people’s minds: Can coronavirus be spread through food?

According to the Centers for Disease for Disease Control:

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Coronavirus and Food Safety

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.

Experts are advising food preparations should continue as normal, which includes washing produce under running tap water – no added soaps or detergents.  According to the CDC/FDA, there is currently no evidence to support transmission of COVID 19 associated with food or food packaging.”

Dr. Taylor Wallace

Dr. Taylor WallaceTaylor C. Wallace, PhD, CFS, FACN, is Principal and CEO at the Think Healthy Group and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University. Dr. Wallace’s background includes a PhD in Food Science and Nutrition from The Ohio State University.  In his free time, Dr. Wallace manages and operates a large food and nutrition blog and is a regular guest on NBC and the Dr. Oz Show. He is a fellow of the American College of Nutrition and is the 2015 recipient of the Charles A. Regus Award, given by the American College of Nutrition for original research and innovation in the field of nutrition.  Dr. Wallace is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Magnesium Education & Research, the Deputy Editor in Chief of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Editor in Chief of the Journal of Dietary Supplements, editor of six academic textbooks, an author of over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, and author of the new popular cookbook, Sizzling Science.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists COVID-19 Information & Resources

Coronavirus: Healthy Habits During a Pandemic – Tameka Sims, IFIC

Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide – Serious Eats

How to Handle Food Safely During the COVID-19 Outbreak – Sally Kuzemchak, WebMD

Things You Can Do At the Grocery Store to Keep Yourself Safe During the Coronavirus Outbreak – Insider

Don’t Panic About Shopping, Getting Delivery or Accepting Packages – Washington Post

What’s Real About Coronavirus and Food Packaging – Food Marketing Institute

7 Tips for Cleaning Fruits, Vegetables – U.S. Food and Drug Administration

How to Safely Handle Your Groceries During the Coronavirus Pandemic – Toby Amidor, Shape

Don’t Panic! We Have Food, Please Share – Marianne Smith Edge

Academy Offers Nutrition Guidance During Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Emergency – Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

COVID-19 Nutrition Posts – Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Dr. Taylor Wallace’s: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Related Episodes & Posts

Coronavirus & Quarantine: Food Tips & Resources

Produce Safety, Technology & Traceability with Dr. Bob Whitaker – Sound Bites Podcast episode #136

Popular Diets 101: Keto, Atkins & Paleo – Sound Bites Podcast episode #127 with Dr. Taylor Wallace

Industry Funding, Sci Comm & Dr. Oz – Sound Bites Podcast episode #107 with Dr. Taylor Wallace

Produce and Pesticides In Perspective – Sound Bites Podcast episode #97 with Teresa Thorne

A Researcher’s Perspective & Passion for Nutrition – Sound Bites Podcast episode #46 with Dr. Taylor Wallace

Earn Free CEUs


Cow Gas, Upcycling & Beef Sustainability – Sound Bites Podcast episode #104 with Dr. Sara Place – CLICK HERE TO EARN 1 FREE CEU

Get Melissa’s Sound Science Toolkit here!

Partnership with ADCES

American Association of Diabetes Educators

Sound Bites is partnering with the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (formerly the American Association of Diabetes Educators)! Stay tuned for updates on the podcast, blog and newsletter!

Music by Dave Birk

Produced by JAG in Detroit Podcasts


Enjoy The Show?

Subscribe to Sound Bites Podcast on Apple PodcastsFollow Sound Bites Podcast on Spotify





  1. Kim Beavers on March 31, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Melissa great podcast on food and COVID. Thanks for getting straight to the bottom of the question that people have. Also great resources I was able to pull from and use in my social media and work activities. Thanks for being a professional that I can trust. What a treat.

  2. Gina Gilchrist on April 23, 2020 at 7:21 am

    Practical advice during a time of much uncertainty! Loved this podcast as an RD and shared it with colleagues, family, and friends! Can we earn a CEU for this ? Also, would have loved to hear any word of whether or not it’s ok to take elderberry syrup/tabs with COVID as this seems to be another hot topic.

    • Melissa Dobbins on April 23, 2020 at 9:31 am

      Thanks Gina!
      I am so glad to hear you liked the episode and shared it with others.
      I have not submitted this episode for CEUs. That process takes at least 4-6 weeks if not longer so I have only been submitting topics that are more evergreen than this.
      I will ask Dr. Wallace about elderberry and post his answer here.

      • Melissa Dobbins on April 23, 2020 at 1:58 pm

        Hi again, Here is what Dr. Wallace replied to me and said I could share here:
        There isn’t any hard evidence to suggest any supplement regimen will actually work. Having said that… there are profound metabolic changes that occur due to the actions of proinflammatory cytokines, including but not limited to TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6 and IL-8, all of which seem to be elevated in SARS-CoV-2 cases. These changes have long been documented to influence energy, fat, carbohydrate, protein, and micronutrient metabolism. At the same time, the body’s antioxidant defenses become depleted in response to the elevated cytokines, resulting in upregulation of the inflammatory process and localized tissue damage. So in essence consuming antioxidant foods and taking an elderberry supplement (with food) can’t hurt.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Welcome to my podcast where we delve into the science, psychology and strategies behind good food and nutrition.

Listen to the trailer


Sign up for my monthly newsletter and episode eblasts so you never miss an update!

Contact Melissa

podcast selfie

Backstage Pass

Contact Melissa with ideas or suggestions, to be interviewed or for media coaching