Short Answer: There is no evidence that COVID19 can be transmitted through food or raw food/sushi. Experience with SARS and MERS suggest that people are not infected with the virus through food. Coronaviruses need a living host (animal or human) to grow in and cannot grow in food. That said, it is currently recommended by “WHO” to cook your food before consuming it.
Details and sources:
There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted to people via raw food (sushi) or food:
“While there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted to people via food in the United States, the virus should be killed by normal cooking temperatures,” said Dr. Lisa Conti, FDACS Chief Science Officer. “As a general public safety rule, we do not recommend that people consume raw meat or unpasteurized dairy products.” (Florida department of agriculture and comsumer services)
Previous experience with similar diseases suggest that coronavirus cannot be transmitted through sushi or food in general:
“Experience with SARS and MERS suggest that people are not infected with the virus through food. So, it is unlikely the virus is passed on through food and there is no evidence yet of this happening with COVID-19 (coronavirus) to date. Coronaviruses need a host (animal or human) to grow in and cannot grow in food.” (Food safety authority of Ireland).
Cooking food kills any virus present in food, even if there is no evidence of transmission:
“Thorough cooking is expected to kill the virus because we know that a heat treatment of at least 30min at 60ºC is effective with SARS.” (Food safety authority of Ireland).
Freezing food, such as raw fish has not always proven to kill viruses, even though there is no evidence of transmission from food.
Current WHO recommendations (picture below):
It is recommended to cook your food thoroughly before consumption.
Spread from contaminated surface might occur:
Like with any object, if an covid-19 infected person sneezed on a surface (including food, cooked or raw sushi) while preparing it, or on your packaging bag, the virus can be transmitted:
“It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes” (Centers for disease control and prevention)
Restaurants are being cautious about hygiene measures when preparing food and hopefully not allowing sick employees to show up at work.
“The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus known to spread by upper respiratory secretions, including airborne droplets after coughing or sneezing So we currently cannot rule out the possibility of the infection being transmitted through food by an infected person who has not thoroughly washed their hands.” (Harvard Medical School)
Again, there is no evidence that COVID19 can be transmitted through food or raw food/sushi (without surface contamination). Coronaviruses need a living host (animal or human) to grow in and cannot grow in food. But it is still currently recommended to cook your food before consuming it.
Don’t be paranoid, but take precautions.