COVID-19

This is an image of the COVID-19 virus.
Learn about the COVID-19 virus and food safety.

US Department of Agriculture | October 2021

The US Department of Agriculture most frequently asked questions and responses about the Coronavirus and Food Safety.

University of Florida.

A list of publications maintained by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences that deal with COVID-19 topics with a food safety slant.

Foreign Agriculture Service (United States Department of Agriculture), GAIN Report.

India’s online grocery market was reported to have grown by 80 percent to $2.66 billion in 2020 primarily due to COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown. The sector is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years thanks to expanding internet connectivity and rising consumer demand for convenience, value, safety/hygiene, ease of payment, and product variety.

SARS-CoV-2 Virus Transmission  ( PDF | 674 KB )

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (United States Department of Agriculture) and NC State Extension.

A one-page document created by the NC State Extension explains ways COVID-19 is transmitted.

Food Security

2020

As these lines were written, the Covid-19 pandemic crisis was continuing to threaten countries around the globe. The worldwide consensus that physical distancing is an effective instrument for mitigating the spread of the virus has led policymakers to temporarily limit the freedom of movement of people between and within countries, cities, and even neighborhoods. These public health-related restrictions on human mobility yielded an unprecedented fragmentation of international and national food distribution systems. Focusing on food retailing - usually being modestly oligopolistic - we take a micro-economic perspective as we analyze the potential consequences this disruption has for the physical as well as for the economic access of households to food at the local level. As the mobility constraints implemented substantially reduced competition, we argue that food retailers might have been tempted to take advantage of the implied fragmentation of economic activity by exploiting their temporarily raised market power at the expense of consumers and farmers. We illustrate our point by providing empirical evidences of rising wholesale-retail as well as farm-retail price margins observed during the Covid-19 crisis. Subsequently, we review existing empirical approaches that can be used to quantify and decompose the micro-economic effects of crises on food demand and supply as well as the size and structure of the market, costs of trade, and economic welfare. The employment of such approaches facilitates policymakers’ understanding of micro-economic effects of public health-induced mobility restrictions on economic activity.

Global Food Security

2020

There are rising concerns over the impact of COVID-19 on the agricultural production, which may become a nonnegligible threat to the long-term food supply and food security. This paper discusses the impact of COVID-19 on agricultural production in China, followed by government responses to alleviate the negative effects. The results show that unreasonable restrictions would block the outflow channels of agricultural products, hinder necessary production inputs, destroy production cycles, and finally undermine production capacity. It is expected that China's experiences could give warnings and suggestions to other countries that are experiencing serious outbreak to protect domestic agricultural production, especially developing countries.

Allergy : European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

2020

Large differences in COVID‐19 death rates exist between countries and between regions of the same country. Some very low death rate countries such as Eastern Asia, Central Europe or the Balkans have a common feature of eating large quantities of fermented foods. Although biases exist when examining ecological studies, fermented vegetables or cabbage were associated with low death rates in European countries. SARS‐CoV‐2 binds to its receptor, the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). As a result of SARS‐Cov‐2 binding, ACE2 downregulation enhances the angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AT1R) axis associated with oxidative stress. This leads to insulin resistanceas well as lung and endothelial damage, two severe outcomes of COVID‐19. The nuclear factor (erythroid‐derived 2)‐like 2 (Nrf2) is the most potent antioxidant in humans and can block the AT1R axis. Cabbage contains precursors of sulforaphane, the most active natural activator of Nrf2. Fermented vegetables contain many lactobacilli, which are also potent Nrf2 activators. Three examples are given: Kimchi in Korea, westernized foods and the slum paradox. It is proposed that fermented cabbage is a proof‐of‐concept of dietary manipulations that may enhance Nrf2‐associated antioxidant effects helpful in mitigating COVID‐19 severity.

Food Research International

2020

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commercial restaurant sector is struggling to organize itself. Resilience is crucial for a system to be able to respond adequately to events of this magnitude, and is aimed at the recovery and adaptation of the concerned sector in view of the adversities. In the commercial restaurant sector, resilience efforts are primarily intended to protect the health of both those who consume food and those who produce it. Amid the creative initiatives of individuals within their workplaces, restaurants, even unconsciously, seek to build resilience in the pandemic by applying the food safety practices recommended by the sanitary legislation and remaining economically active. Targeting public health preparedness, in this letter, we present an overview of the stages of resilience and their interaction with the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of commercial restaurants.

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