COVID-19: Safety and hygiene of dairy products and personnel

23 April 2020


While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts everyone’s daily lives, the dairy supply chain is also affected. The dairy sector has been recognized around the world as an essential activity. Dairy farmers and processors are working tirelessly to deliver nutritious food on our tables.

The International Dairy Federation (IDF) wishes to support its members and the dairy sector by providing the following messages:

  • The safety of workers and consumers is a priority throughout the sector.
  • There is no evidence that this strain of coronavirus is present in domestic livestock such as cattle.
  • The virus is spread through aerosol transmission and close human contact, not through food products. COVID-19 is not a foodborne disease, as confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is not expected to be found in milk and dairy products.
  • Food safety agencies have confirmed that heat treatment kills other coronaviruses, so pasteurization is expected to also inactivate SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19.
  • Very strict hygiene measures are already in place throughout the dairy supply chain, including in unpasteurized milk products production, to ensure food safety and the safety of the food handlers. These measures also protect against SARS-CoV-2.
  • The Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 cannot increase in numbers outside the human body (Unlike bacteria or fungi, viruses do not have the capacity to grow without invading their host).
  • Dairy processors are encouraged to enhance safety measures to protect essential staff members who come to work every day.

IDF wishes to warmly thank the farmers, processors, transporters and all those involved on the frontline in the supply of safe dairy products to consumers throughout the world.


Useful links:


WHO: COVID-19 and Food Safety: Guidance for Food Businesses

FAO: Food Safety in the time of COVID-19