You will not catch Coronavirus from fresh produce
As the world beings to adjust to life during the Coronavirus Pandemic it is more important than ever to make sure we are maintaining healthy eating habits in order to keep our immune systems strong. Fresh fruit and vegetables are an integral part of a healthy diet, however, there has been some concern that the Coronavirus can be transmitted through fresh produce.
These concerns arise from the fact that fresh produce in stores is likely to be handled by numerous people before being purchased leading to the belief it may be a source of transmission if handled by someone infected with the virus. These fears are unfounded as there is no evidence to suggest that Coronavirus is transmitted through food or food packaging as stated by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
The most common way Coronavirus is transmitted is through person to person contact and through droplets in the air, especially after someone with the virus sneezes or coughs. This is why it is important to practice coughing and sneezing into your elbow and avoiding public places, such as supermarkets, if you are feeling unwell.
Although the virus can survive on surfaces for some time, you are less likely to contract the virus this way and only if you touch your face, mouth or eyes after coming into contact with a contaminated surface. Regularly washing your hands will further reduce the risk of contracting the virus through surface contact.
Always practice good food hygiene
Although transmission through food is unlikely, it is always important to practice good food hygiene when preparing food in the home.
- Wash your fruit and vegetables before eating, peeling or cutting
- Wash fresh produce under cold water and give it a good rub or scrub
- Take extra care to remove all traces of soil from fresh produce
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling food
- Wash fresh produce with soap, bleach or vinegar. Washing fresh produce with soap may lead to soap residue being absorbed into the food and cause gastrointestinal upset when ingested.
- Wash food before storing it as the extra moisture can cause food to spoil more quickly. If you must wash food before storage, ensure it is thoroughly dried using paper towel.
- Do not wash meat, poultry or eggs at this can spread bacteria onto other surfaces such as the sink or bench top.
Instead of being afraid of food, let’s use this time to experiment and practice our cooking skills to create something we can enjoy!
Written By Katherine Ramsden, Nutritionist
Nutrition Force is a Western Australian based company of Nutritionists and Accredited Practising Dietitians that offer weight loss programs, private dietetic consultations, children’s nutrition & dietetics, school nutrition and Corporate Wellness programs. If you would like more information on our Perth Dietitians and the other services we offer call us today on (08) 9385 7755.