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What you need to know about coronavirus and food safety
Posted on 13 May 2020
Health bosses in Coventry and Warwickshire help to answer people’s questions around food safety and coronavirus.
Understandably, people have a lot of questions surrounding coronavirus, handling food items and what they need to do to stay safe. It’s very unlikely that coronavirus can be spread through food. However, you should still take preventative hygiene measures when shopping for food and preparing it.
Dr Imogen Staveley, Chair at NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “There are a lot of myths out there about the risks around food and how it can spread germs. However, it is very unlikely that you will catch coronavirus through food. The most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to wash your hands thoroughly and often and stay home as much as possible.”
Food hygiene when shopping
Dr Sarah Raistrick, Chair at NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) cross-contamination to food and food packaging is very low and there is no need to sanitize food packaging. Shop staff have guidance on handling food, frequent cleaning of the work place and personal hygiene, this includes regular hand washing.
“Avoid touching food such as fruit, vegetables and bakery items that you aren’t going to buy. Make sure to stay 2m away from people around you in the store.”
Food hygiene at home
Dr David Spraggett, Chair at NHS South Warwickshire CCG said: “Always make sure to wash your hands before preparing food. Although it is very unlikely that coronavirus is transmitted through food, cooking thoroughly will kill the virus. Make sure to completely wash any loose produce items that you are going to eat raw, such as apples. If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus, or have tested positive for COVID-19, you can minimise direct hand contact with food by using tongs and utensils.”
You can read the Government’s full guidance on food safety and coronavirus for more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-consumers-on-coronavirus-covid-19-and-food/guidance-for-consumers-on-coronavirus-covid-19-and-food
For more information on coronavirus visit: nhs.co.uk/coronavirus