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September 17, 2021

In 2020, ILSI hosted two webinars on the role of nutrition in supporting immune systems, as well as responses to viral infections, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering the impact COVID-19 has had on food systems around the globe, ILSI hosted scientific presentations during our 2021 Annual Symposium. These discussions helped to continue the dialogue about how COVID-19 not only impacts health, but also puts workers and food supply chains at risk.

To learn more about this important issue, please watch this presentation from Lee-Ann Jaykus, PhD, from North Carolina State University in the United States. Her presentation, "Impacts and Risk of COVID-19 in the Essential Workforce of the Food Supply Chain," included research on COVID-19 exposure in an enclosed food manufacturing facility where droplet transmission – such as droplets from coughing – at just three feet of distance could drive the risk to workers. However, cloth and surgical masks reduce worker risk, and distancing by more than six feet decreased worker risk even more effectively. "Bundled strategies work," she said.

Also presenting at the ILSI 2021 Annual Symposium was Paul Ziemnisky with Dairy Management, Inc. His presentation, "COVID-19 and the Food Supply Chain Disruption," provided lessons learned from the challenges COVID-19 presented to the dairy supply chain in the U.S. He highlighted the partnerships established to move dairy products to consumers through different channels and in new ways. For example, some in the dairy association worked with agencies to provide equipment like portable coolers to distribute milk to school-age children who were not physically attending school during the pandemic.

More video recordings, as well as transcripts, from ILSI 2021 Annual Symposium sessions are available on ILSI's website here.

Finally, the Nutrition Reviews journal has published a number of peer-reviewed articles related to COVID-19 and nutrition. Browse the list of articles here.