Employees of wholesale and takeaway businesses are key workers "delivering an absolutely vital service", according to the minister for environment, food and rural affairs.
In a public letter, MP George Eustice described workers in the food and drink industry as "hidden heroes", adding that Public Health England advice suggests there is very little risk of the virus being spread on food or packaging.
The letter said: "In the face of what is perhaps the greatest health challenge this country has faced in our lifetime, I want to pay tribute to all those who are working around the clock to keep the nation fed – in our fields, processing plants, factories, wholesalers, stores and takeaways and all of those moving goods around the country and to our homes.
"However, there are many key workers that are crucial to the resilience of our country. Our NHS staff will be working harder than ever in the weeks ahead. Those of you working to provide the nation with food and other essentials are also delivering an absolutely vital service.
"Everyone working in the food and drink industry has rallied in an extraordinary way to respond to this unprecedented challenge. Having worked in the food industry myself, I am personally enormously proud and thankful for all the work that you have done in recent weeks, and will be asked to do in the weeks ahead. In many cases you are the hidden heroes, and the country is grateful for all that you have done."