The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most of us to remain at home for extended periods far more than perhaps any of us have ever had to in our lives so far. However, when we are spending more time at home, it is natural that we will tend to also snack more. With the coronavirus being responsible for unprecedented illness and fatalities, it is natural for people to be concerned about the safety of their snacking. Some clarifications by Adam K Veron:
Consuming Fresh Produce Continues to Be Safe for Snacking by Children and Adults
While nothing has changed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the FDA advises consumers to follow the usual practices regarding food safety applicable for cleaning fresh produce. Inspect the produce before buying it to make sure it is fresh. Cut away bruised areas of fruit and vegetables and then rinse them thoroughly under running water without using any kind of disinfectant, commercial produce washes, bleach, soap, etc. Use a produce brush to scrub firm produce like potatoes, cucumbers, avocados, melons, etc. and dry them using a cloth or a paper towel.
Consuming Packaged Products Can Be Safe with Safe Hygiene Practices
There is no evidence that baked goods or processed foods sold in packages can be responsible for the transmission of the coronavirus, observes Adam K Veron. There is no way to tell if the packages are contaminated with the virus. It has also been established that the virus can live for a day and on plastics for even longer. It is, therefore, wise to sanitize your hands as well as the handle of your shopping cart often and avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes to keep yourself safe. You can empty the contents of packages into clean containers after reaching home or wipe down glass and plastic containers with a disinfectant to be safe. You can also choose to quarantine the food items for 24-72 hours in a separate area but ensure that they do not spoil because of high temperature. Both fresh foods and frozen foods must be refrigerated immediately and not left out to prevent them from spoiling.
It Is Safe to Have Takeaways but Be Conscious of Good Hygiene, Advises Adam K Veron
If you have been holding yourself back from visiting your favorite restaurants and wondering if it is safe to order takeaways, you should appreciate that there is no evidence that you can get infected through cooked food. There is, of course, a chance of infection through proximity to or contact with the delivery person and through contaminated packaging. It is, therefore, important to wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand rub sanitizer when handling the packages. Take care to wear a mask and keep a distance of at least six feet from the delivery person.
There is no evidence of people getting infected through contaminated food, however, since it is a respiratory virus, you should take care to practice minimal contact with potential sources of infection, practice physical distancing, wear a mask, and practice good hand hygiene.