CorOnavirus & Packaging

During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the Food Packaging Forum helps to gather, summarize, and communicate relevant information related to food packaging and human health


The spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has had impacts across all sectors. As health authorities and scientists around the world work towards identifying solutions to bring the situation under control, the Food Packaging Forum is monitoring the situation closely.

This page serves as a resource providing an overview of relevant scientific studies, government and stakeholder communications, and upcoming events related to SARS-CoV-2 and food packaging. It will be regularly updated as the situation develops.


Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Credit: NIAID

Scientific studies

March 13, 2020: Packaging could be involved in spreading novel coronavirus

Study led by U.S. National Institutes of Health finds SARS-CoV-2 virus remains on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days, cardboard up to one day; raises concerns regarding packaging as a potential vector for spreading the virus, potential need to wash or quarantine packaged products at home

February 6, 2020: Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents

Literature review led by scientists from University Medicine Greifswald and Ruhr University Bochum investigating other previously known coronavirus strains and earlier experimental research on their persistence and inactivation on various surfaces. Study does not present experimental results specific to the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic


March 23, 2020: Kann das neuartige Coronavirus über Lebensmittel und Gegenstände übertragen werden?

German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR): Series of questions and answers related to the transmission of the virus through food and objects

March 17, 2020: Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Series of questions and answers related to sanitation and food safety in the wake of SARS-CoV-2

March 13, 2020: List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA): Published list of disinfectant products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2. Not necessarily comprehensive and being continuously updated

Stakeholder And media COMMUNICATIONS

March 25, 2020: Pandemic providing opportunity for packaging innovation, resilience

Episode of The Indisposable Podcast discusses coronavirus pandemic and how reusable packaging could expand and innovate to help businesses protect public health, save money, and increase resilience; interview with Jane Muncke, managing director of the Food Packaging Forum, discusses how a shift backward to single-use packaging not needed

March 18, 2020: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Fighting Products

Industry association American Chemistry Council (ACC) publishes answers to frequently asked questions addressing a compiled list of products that have been pre-approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against emerging enveloped viral pathogens and can be used during the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak

March 17, 2020: Reusable food packaging and novel coronavirus

NGO UPSTREAM encourages consumers to continue using reusable items with regular washing using soap, expects zero-waste efforts and bring-your-own container programs to further gain momentum after pandemic ends; expanded business models needed to promote sanitizing and reusing packaging

March 12, 2020: The science of soap – here’s how it kills the coronavirus

U.K. newspaper The Guardian reports on the effectiveness of soap in inactivating SARS-CoV-2