The ongoing pandemic involving severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has raised the question whether this virus, which is known to be spread primarily though respiratory droplets, could be spread through the fecal-oral route or via contaminated food. In this article, we present a critical review of the literature exploring the potential foodborne transmission of several respiratory viruses including human coronaviruses, avian influenza virus (AVI), parainfluenza viruses, human respiratory syncytial virus, adenoviruses, rhinoviruses, and Nipah virus. Multiple lines of evidence, including documented expression of receptor proteins on gastrointestinal epithelial cells, in vivo viral replication in gastrointestinal epithelial cell lines, extended fecal shedding of respiratory viruses, and the ability to remain infectious in food environments for extended periods of time raises the theoretical ability of some human respiratory viruses, particularly human coronaviruses and AVI, to spread via food. However, to date, neither epidemiological data nor case reports of clear foodborne transmission of either viruses exist. Thus, foodborne transmission of human respiratory viruses remains only a theoretical possibility. Crown Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.