Food and Coronavirus: Everything you need to know

What to do when ordering delivery and what to do at the supermarket

On the occasion of the latest positive cases of coronavirus in supermarkets, bakeries and production units, we bring back the announcement from the Ministry of Health.

The Health Services of the Ministry of Health, in the context of the information of both the public and the staff of the food companies, for food and the corona SARS-CoV-2, publish the following useful information, in collaboration with the European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET).

What do we know so far about COVID-19 disease of the respiratory system associated with the new SARS-CoV-2 virus?

As far as we know, the new COVID-19 respiratory disease is caused by an infection with a new type of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The modes of transmission of COVID-19 are closely related to that of other known coronoids. Different types of coronaviruses usually cause conventional colds in humans. Also, other coronaviruses, such as the SARS and MERS coronaviruses, have occurred in the past and have led to severe respiratory problems.

The main target organs of the human SARS-CoV-2 corona are the organs of the respiratory system. The most important method of transmission is “droplet infection”, in which coronae are carried by humans into the air through droplets and then inhaled. Also, pathogens in the hands can enter through the nasal mucosa,

Are there other possible modes of transmission?

There are currently no cases in which humans are infected with the new type of coronavirus in other ways, such as through the consumption of contaminated food or contact with contaminated objects. There are also no known reports of other coronaviruses due to foodborne infections or contact with dry surfaces.

Transmission through recently infected surfaces with viruses is still possible through touch infections. However, this is only likely to occur shortly after infection by a sick person due to the relatively low stability of the colon in the environment, and if the person touching the surfaces will touch the mouth, nose or eyes. of.

How can I protect myself from being infected with the virus through food?

With the data so far, the virus is not transmitted to humans through contaminated food, but the general rules of daily hygiene must be strictly observed, such as frequent washing of hands with soap, as well as the rules of hygiene when handling food. Since viruses are sensitive to heat, the risk of infection can also be further reduced by heating food.

Can the new type of SARS-CoV-2 be transmitted through dishes and cutlery to canteens or other places of mass catering?

Coronavirus can generally infect cutlery or dishes, as well as other surfaces, through sneezing or coughing from an infected person directly on them, and can survive on these solid surfaces for some time.

A skin infection could theoretically be possible if the virus is transmitted through cutlery or hands to the mucous membranes of the mouth, throat or eyes. However, no infection with SARS-CoV-2 has been reported through this route of transmission and therefore transmission through this route is considered impossible to date.

Does the virus become inactive by hand washing or dishwasher?

Like all infected viruses in which the genetic material is coated with a layer of fat, coronavirus is sensitive to fat-soluble substances, such as alcohol or surfactants, which are contained in soaps and dish detergents. These substances are thought to damage the surface of the virus and make the virus inactive. This is especially true if the dishes are washed and dried in a dishwasher at a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius or higher.

Are special precautions required for dishes or cutlery in nursing homes?

All the usual measures and rules of conduct to protect against mental illness or influenza viruses in nursing homes help with COVID-19 transmission.

Can I be infected with SARS-CoV-2 through contaminated frozen food?

So far there are no signs of contamination through food consumption, including frozen foods. In any case, you must fully comply with the general rules of hygiene when preparing food.

How can I protect myself when I go to the supermarket?

A key way to prevent the spread of the virus is to keep it 2 meters away from other people. Coronary heart disease is generally transmitted from person to person through droplets from infected people who sneeze, cough or exhale. Such “social distancing” is the main strategy in any situation outside the home.

Other ideas: Go shopping when there is not much traffic. Take antiseptic with you. Use it to wipe your hands and the handle of the stroller or the handles of the basket you will use. Use a credit or debit card instead of cash, and if possible through a mobile phone application that ensures a free visa charge. Also, use your pen to sign the receipts. Once you get home, wash your hands thoroughly.

After wearing disposable gloves or applying disinfectant on your hands, place the products on a counter or table that you have already disinfected. Wrap a cloth with disinfectant or soap in the outer packaging of the products before storing them in the cupboards. If it is a double package (e.g. bag of breakfast cereals in cardboard packaging), remove the inner packaging and store it in the cupboard and discard the outer one.

Finally, clean the surface of the counter/table with soap and/or disinfectant. If you have used a multi-purpose shopping bag, don’t forget to wash it inside and out with soap and water.

How can I protect myself when ordering home delivery food?

Pay via visa so that no cash transaction is required. Give instructions such as the person who will deliver the food to you to leave it outside the door and leave. After washing your hands with soap (if you want to wear disposable gloves afterward), pick up the bags/containers with the food and place them on a counter/table that you have already disinfected.

Completely remove food from bags/containers and place them on plates or in your containers. Dispose of empty bags/containers. Clean the surface of the counter/table with soap and/or disinfectant. As a final precautionary measure, if you want to heat the food for a while before consuming it, either in a regular oven, or in a microwave oven, or a pot, depending on the type of food.

Are meat-based products contaminated by the coronavirus?

There are no reports of human disease indicating that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (that is, wash your hands and surfaces frequently, separate fresh meat from other foods, cook at the right temperature and cool food quickly) when handling or preparing food.

Should I eat fruits and vegetables?

The simple answer is yes. There is no evidence so far that humans can get sick from eating fruits and vegetables, although the virus can be found in them if they have been infected by a sick person. Therefore, it is recommended that you follow the basic hygiene rules. If one wants to be more meticulous:

Because SARS-CoV-2 comes from a family of viruses that are most likely to be inactivated with soap and lukewarm water, washing your fruits and vegetables with soap and water should eliminate any live virus. However, as already noted, no transmission of the disease has been observed through the consumption of food, including fruits and vegetables.

Do I also wash the packages?

You could use dish soap in plastic, glass, and metal. The transmission of the virus via this route has not been observed. If this is not practical, wash your hands thoroughly after removing all packaging, including cartons and containers. Finally, wash your hands, the counter and other surfaces you have touched. Do this after you have stored the food properly.

Can I boost my immune system through my diet?

Simply put, you can’t boost your immune system through diet, and no specific food or dietary supplement will prevent you from becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 or dealing with the virus if you get sick. Good hygiene practice remains the best way to prevent infection.

To date, the European Food Safety Authority has not approved any health claims for food or food ingredients that indicate that it protects against infection.

There are many nutrients involved in the normal functioning of the immune system, so we encourage maintaining a balanced diet to support immune function (including copper, folic acid, iron, selenium, zinc and vitamin C12, vitamins A, B6). D). We do not recommend any food about each other, but we encourage the consumption of a variety of foods to maintain a balanced diet.

An employee of the food processing unit/farm is positive about SARS-CoV-2. What measures do I need to take to ensure that the food I produce is safe?

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be transmitted from person to person through droplets in the respiratory system. Currently, there is no evidence to support the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from food. In contrast to infectious gastrointestinal viruses, such as norovirus and hepatitis A, which often cause human infection with contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that mainly causes respiratory problems. Food exposure to this virus is not known as the route of transmission.

While the primary responsibility, in this case, is to take appropriate measures to protect other workers and individuals who may come into contact with the sick worker, the facility should redouble its cleaning and disinfection efforts to control any potential hazards. related to employees.

It is useful to follow the relevant guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Always follow the relevant instructions that may be issued by Decrees of the Minister of Health or another Minister.

Should the food produced at the facility be recalled during the time the worker may have transmitted the virus while working?

Food is not expected to be withdrawn or withdrawn from the market due to SARS-CoV-2, as there is currently no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 transmission is related to food or its packaging. food.

If a food processing work is positive for SARS-CoV-2, should the facility be closed? If so, for how long?

These decisions are not based on food safety but the risk to public health, due to the transmission of the virus from person to person.

About SARS-CoV-2, how can self-service buffer management be done such as e.g. salad bars in retail?

There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 transmission is related to food or food packaging.

Someone can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 by touching an area or object that has the virus on them and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not considered the main mode of transmission. virus. The coronavirus is transmitted mainly from one person to another through droplets that are inhaled. However, it is always important to follow the 4 basic steps for food safety – cleaning, separation, cooking, and refrigeration – to prevent food poisoning.

As an additional precaution to prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through contact with an infected surface, frequent washing and disinfection of all surfaces and utensils that come in contact with food are recommended. Catering workers must also wash their hands frequently and change gloves before and after food preparation, including frequent cleaning and disinfection of preparation counters and containers. Consumers should wash their hands after using serving utensils and not catch their faces with their hands.

Written by Editorial Staff

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