My father started Harney & Sons with the goal of being a trusted tea merchant. And we have continued with that tradition. It is our job to make sure that our teas are safe. And they are.
The U.S. Tea Association has recently responded with information specifically referencing the safety of teas imported from other countries. The teas we retail now were produced and shipped last year prior to the beginning of the crisis in China. Additionally, tea is finished in hot ovens and is brewed in hot water that would destroy any microorganism, including a virus. The head of the U.S. Tea Association, Peter Goggi, has stated the risk of the COVID-19 infection per the CDC:
“The virus is not spread through goods but by human to human contact … In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely a very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets.”
These statements are well-supported by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More information from the FDA may be found here and also from the CDC here.
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India is the world’s second largest producer of tea, famous for their Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri and of course, chai.