The entire world is so scared and afraid of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in these days. No one is going out and maintaining social distance. I would say that everyone has gone into self-quarantine to battle the coronavirus outbreak. Coronavirus is primarily transmitted through the air, via contact with an infected person’s body fluids (from coughing or sneezing) or from contact with surfaces on which an infected person has sneezed or coughed.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there have been no reports of the virus being transmitted via food or food packaging. As of March 7, the European Food Safety Authority has also confirmed the lack of food-related reports, adding that other coronaviruses, like SARS and MERS, have been shown to need a human or animal host and cannot grow in food. But it is always good to wash your hand, vegetable, and fruit because if the product is contaminated by a sick person and you touch it and then touch your face, you can become infected.
So the question is what is the best practices when washing fruit and vegetables?
- Most medical agencies recommend that simply washing your fruits and vegetables with running water removes most of the viruses.
- If needed, you can scrub vegetable with a scrubbing brush rather than using special produce washes.
- Don’t bleach the veggies or use chlorine on the fruit. No disinfecting wipes or isopropyl alcohol, either.
- Do not wash fruits and vegetables with soap/detergent and water. Those soaps and detergents are designed for washing hands or for washing dishes and they’re not designed for washing food. Eating soap can lead to nausea and can lead to upset stomach.
- Cut out any damaged or bruised parts of the fruit or vegetable under running water.
- Equally important is the sanitation of the preparation area and tools, from sinks to cutting boards. Don’t forget to clean and dry your vegetable brush between uses.
- Store raw and ready-to-eat foods separately.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw food.
Here are a few shopping tips also to maintain hygiene:
- Visit stores during off-peak hours.
- While shopping for items, use sanitizers before handling any cart handles, and use a wipe to clean the handles.
- Maintain one-meter distance with other people while shopping.
- As soon as you are back from shopping, wash or sanitize your hands thoroughly.
- Pay with plastic versus paper to minimize contact with hands or cash.