Many health organisations like the WHO and CDC are continuously advising people to wash hands and maintain hygiene in their surroundings. This is because coronavirus mainly transfers through fomites, which are objects in which the infected air droplets get settled and transmit to humans when they touch them and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
Fomites can be anything from newspaper to doorknobs or from table to chair. The question that is troubling people is if takeaways or a parcel bought from a restaurant can act as a fomite and spread the infection.
COVID-19 And Takeaways
According to the WHO, it is highly unlikely that a person can get COVID-19 from food. However, to some extent, food packets may act as a fomite and spread the infection. This could happen when a COVID-19 positive person coughs or sneezes on food packets and the other person accidentally touches them and then touches their eyes or mouth.
Health organisations and food industry are taking enough preventive measures and ensuring day to day health checkups of their workers that transmission through food packets are almost minimal . Also, in many countries, shopkeepers are maintaining a social distance rule as well as not allowing customers without a mask and sanitised hands.
To prevent food contamination due to COVID-19, the Food Safety Management under their prerequisite programmes are practising good hygiene, sanitation, cleaning, store cleanliness, transportation hygiene and others for a hygienic processing environment.
According to studies, COVID-19 can live on plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours, while for four hours on copper and 24 hours on cardboard. Seeing the life-expectancy of the virus on different surfaces, many food industries have provided adequate training to their workers on hygiene principles and food packaging. Therefore, with all these safety measures, the chances of survival of the virus on food packages is very low. .
Why The Spread Through Food Is Low
There are a several factors that decrease the chances of spread of COVID-19 through food. The foremost thing is food safety. As aforementioned, food industries are already working hard and taking necessary measures to prevent the infection. Another reason is food does not act as a breeding ground for viruses, unlike bacteria, and thus cannot multiply on these surfaces but can stay there just for a few hours. Even if we consume food with coronavirus present in it, the acid present in the stomach will not make them live any longer. These are some of the theories that prove food cannot spread COVID-19. However, further evidence is still needed in the area.
The best way to ensure the safety of your food is to cook in your own kitchen. Don’t eat raw foods, especially meat products and consume them only after proper cooking. This is because several types of viruses and bacteria get killed at high temperature. If your order food from outside, make sure it is hot and if not, first rewarm them and then consume.
Tips For Grocery Cleaning
- Wash the boxes, cans or bottles before storing them.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in running water for around 20 seconds and pat them dry before storing.
- Leave the carry bag outside in which you have bought essentials.
- After cleaning vegetables, wash hands and then arrange them accordingly.
- Change clothes after grocery shopping.
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