There is some confusion surrounding the current Coronavirus (called 2019-NocV) outbreak that began in December 2019 and whether you can get it through food. Here is some information:
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found in both animals and humans. Past outbreaks include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The current novel Coronavirus (a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans) is thought to originate in live food markets in Wuhan, China through animals and human contact.
How is it transmitted?
Coronaviruses such as the current 2019-NocV are transmitted through the respiratory system, not the gut, so there is a low risk of infection through the consumption of contaminated food. Restaurants can be a site of transmission of coronavirus because of the large numbers of people congregating in close quarters and then coughing/sneezing could spread the disease just like in other places (transportation, schools, etc). But the food itself isn’t a likely vehicle.
Signs of infection?
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases and those with weakened immune systems, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO):
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth+nose when coughing/sneezing, and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.