The World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agree there’s no evidence that food or food packaging is a source for the transmission of COVID-19. Still, some news outlets dispute these claims reporting precautions are necessary.
The FDA’s website provides guidance, insisting, “there is no evidence of food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. However, if (shoppers) wish, (they) can wipe down product packaging and allow it to air dry, as an extra precaution.”
Food and supplements companies are particularly susceptible to a dual impact from the global outbreak on short and longer-term planning due to the combination of unpredictable consumer demand and unprecedented supply chain disruption. Even if the demand for food and supplements remains high, meeting it will remain a challenge with the pandemic impacting workers in production facilities. Because the timeline for a meaningful dissipation of the outbreak is uncertain, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers must prepare to continue to engage in significant changes in approach.
What We Know
Fewer Options Lead to Retail Pressure: With many Americans choosing to continue social distancing and restaurants yet to open at capacity, grocery stores and retailers must continue to meet high consumer demand.
Supply Chain Disruption Will Continue: With some factories and ports short-staffed, it’s hard to know when and if the supply chain will return to pre-COVID-19 conditions.
Predictions for a Timeline are Uncertain: According to a recent Time article, improvements in some areas — New York, New Jersey, and other parts of the Northeast — are offset by worsening conditions elsewhere, leaving the United States as a whole stubbornly plateaued at about six cases per 100,000 people.
Considering these challenges, how can supplement and food manufacturers manage risk and avoid supply chain disruption while meeting consumer demands? Most experts agree that the best approach focuses on strengthening existing food safety systems like Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC). When facing so much disruption and uncertainty, ensuring risk analysis programs are adequate for each food supply touchpoint can go a long way toward protecting your brand and consumers.
As we’ve reached out to our customers throughout the pandemic, several TraceGains solutions make a notable difference in the ability to succeed during the crisis. Learn more by downloading our infographic for solutions to help navigate the COVID-19 threat here.