Food Safety During COVID-19
Tips to keep you safe
Many people are
making trips to the grocery store or using food delivery services right now. So how
do you know your food is virus-free when it gets to your doorstep?
According to the USDA, “We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illness that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging.” However, experts say it’s still important to follow good food hygiene.
Here are simple steps you
can take to try and limit your exposure to coronavirus. Many of these tips will sound
familiar, but they are good reminders.
Wash your hands
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. This is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others in your home from the spread of germs. Remember to clean the ‘webs’ between fingers and thumbs. Don’t have access to soap and water? Use hand sanitizers.
Wash your produce
Whether you’re concerned about the coronavirus or not, you should always wash your produce. For hard-skinned produce, scrub skins or peels with a soft-bristled vegetable brush. For other types of produce, including leafy greens, soak in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Plain water is fine. You can also use a little dish soap. However, do not use bleach or chlorine on your fruits and veggies. Still concerned? Try fruits that can be peeled such as bananas, oranges and apples.
Wash nonporous containers
Use dish soap on metal cans, plastic containers and glass jars before putting them away. It’s also a good idea to wash you hands after opening containers and boxes.
Keep your kitchen area clean
Use disinfectants to clean your surfaces such as countertops, your refrigerator door handle, sink handle and cabinet knobs. This will not only kill viruses but also help you avoid food-borne illness from possible cross contamination.
Cook food properly
You can help ensure you’re cooking food at the correct heat, by using a food thermometer. Check the government’s safe cooking temperature chart.
“Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and other foods rich in antioxidants has consistently been shown to increase overall health, including our immune systems,” says William Isenberg, M.D., Sutter’s chief quality and safety officer. “Staying healthy increases the body’s ability to fight infections. “
By taking a few common-sense precautions, such as frequent hand-washing and washing produce, consumers can continue to reap the health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Isenberg’s bottom line advice: “Use serious concern and precaution, but do not panic and give up healthy food that’s good for your mind and body.”
For more food safety tips click here.