Background Several actions in the realm of public policies and programs have been implemented worldwide to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 . As Brazil and many parts of the world are marked by regional, cultural, and social inequalities, risk communication and assimilation of protection recommendations by the public may be erratic, hampering the proper measurement of their effectiveness . Scope and approach Even though transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by foods is unlikely, this work aimed to evaluate the population's adherence to the recommended food hygiene and personal protection measures to prevent COVID-19 . An online survey containing questions on food hygiene and personal protection was publicly disseminated via internet and social networks . Data from 3000 respondents were collected and discussed herein . Key findings and conclusions: Most respondents adopted the recommended hygienic and personal protection measures to avoid contamination with SARS-CoV-2 . However, some important flaws were detected, such as lack of use of face masks when in public places (6 %), improper hand washing and sanitizing (10–12 %) and use of incorrect products for food or environment cleaning and sanitization (28 %), indicating that adequate risk communication and preventive recommendations must continue in order to avoid contamination with the coronavirus . The heighten awareness with food hygiene during the pandemic may have an enduring positive effect on food safety.