Can COVID19 (Coronavirus) disease be transmitted by food?

According to available scientific data, there is currently no evidence that humans are infected with COVID19 through food consumption. In addition, WHO and food safety risk assessment agencies around the world believe that humans are less likely to be infected by food. Nevertheless, according to WHO’s recommendations on food safety, members of the public should maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene at all times, including washing hands before and after handling raw cooked food, thoroughly cooked food, raw meat and organs. These should also be separated from cooked food, etc., to ensure food safety.

Can COVID-19 be Transmitted by Food Packaging?

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID19
Photo by Mélissa Jeanty on Unsplash

Recent studies have found that the novel coronavirus COVID19 can survive from hours to days on the surface of an object under controlled experimental conditions. However, the virus cannot reproduce on food or food packaging, so the risk of infection through food packaging seems low in real life.The WHO says that humans are unlikely to be infected with coronavirus disease 2019 from food or food packaging. So far, there is no evidence that the virus causing respiratory diseases can be transmitted through food or food packaging. COVID19 disease is mainly transmitted by respiratory droplets and can also be transmitted by contact. To prevent contact, members of the public should keep their hands clean and away from their nose, eyes, and ears.

Should consumers disinfect food packaging?

The risk of new COVID19 infection through food packaging is low. In fact, hand contamination is a major factor contributing to the transmission of indirect contact, and infectious viruses can be brought from one surface to another through both hands and even into the human body. Frequent contact points such as door handles, shopping cart handles and faucets are more likely to spread COVID19 virus than food packaging – the more often people touch, the greater the risk of contamination. Therefore, while people may still choose to disinfect food packaging surfaces with common household disinfectants such as alcohol wipes or sprays when needed, it is more important to wash hands thoroughly. Especially before touching the eyes, nose and mouth; after buying food home; and after handling and storing the food purchased.

How to ensure that food is thoroughly cooked?

  • To ensure that food is thoroughly cooked, it is best to use a food thermometer to check that the food center temperature reaches at least 75 degrees Celsius. When using food thermometers, ensure that:
    • Place the food thermometer in the center of the thickest part of the flesh;
    • Do not let the food thermometer in contact with bone parts or containers of four
    • Clean the food thermometer properly after each use.
    If a food thermometer is not available, cook or reheat the food thoroughly until hot and check:
    • Meat and poultry — gravy must be clear and should not be red
    color; blood should not be seen when cutting cooked meat;
    • The yolk has solidified
    • Boil the soup stock and stew.
  • If cooking in the microwave, cover the food and remove the food several times during cooking to stir or flip it to ensure that the food is thoroughly cooked.
    For chilled food, defrost it in a microwave, freezer or under a flowing hose before cooking.

Do you need to disinfect fresh fruits and vegetables before eating?

Type 2 Diabetes - Fruits That You Should Eat
Image by Couleur from Pixabay

According to available scientific data, there is currently no evidence that humans are infected with COVID19 through food. It is also important to maintain general hygiene guidelines when preparing fruits and vegetables, including thorough cleaning of food and regular washing of hands when handling food.To wash fruit effectively, the public should rinse thoroughly with flowing water.In addition, rinsing fruits and vegetables before peeling prevents the cutter from bringing dirt and bacteria into the fruit and vegetables.Fruits and vegetables such as melons, cucumbers, etc. with hard or rough skin can be cleaned with a clean brush.In addition, citizens are advised to contact only the food they intend to purchase when purchasing bulk food such as fruits, vegetables or bread.

What should I pay attention to when handling birds and eggs?

• When buying live chickens, do not touch the chickens or their feces, or blow the tail of the chickens with your mouth.
• Wash hands thoroughly with soap or detergent after handling live birds, poultry products or eggs.Thoroughly clean all worktops, utensils and equipment used to handle poultry products or eggs.
• Handle raw and ready-to-eat food separately with different knives and cutting boards.
• Uncooked poultry meat should be stored in a lidded container before storing it in the bottom of the refrigerator. Ready-to-eat food and cooked food should be placed on the refrigerator to avoid cross-contamination.
• Wash eggs with bird feces or stains.Eggs should be cooked immediately after washing.
• Avoid eating cracked eggs as they are more susceptible to contamination.
• Avoid using raw or undercooked eggs with some food that will no longer be cooked.Avoid eating raw eggs, or dip cooked food with a sauce mixed with raw eggs.
• Eggs should be cooked thoroughly until the egg yolk and the protein become firm.
• Birds must be thoroughly cooked before they can be eaten.If the bird still has pink gravy flowing out after cooking or the centre of the bone is red, cook it again until it is cooked.

When should we wash our hands and how should we wash them?

We should always keep hands clean and wash hands regularly, for example in the following cases:
• Preparation of food and before eating;
• Touch the eyes, nose and mouth;
• After using the toilet;
• After processing raw food;
• After coughing, sneezing;
• After buying food home;
• After handling and storing the food purchased; and
• After handling dirty things, such as unclean utensils and
Furniture, waste, etc.

Steps to Wash Your Hand

1. Wet hands with flowing tap water;
2. Apply soap;
3. Rub hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, including forearm, hand
under the wrist, palm, back of hand, fingers and under the fingernails;
4. Rinse thoroughly;
5. Dry hands with a wiped paper;
6. and close the tap with a wiping paper (if applicable).

Read: After Breast Cancer – Healthy Eating Plan