Food is the essence of life. It’s a source of energy that helps everyone to survive. And with the ongoing COVID situation, the importance of food has grown exponentially. But, no matter what anyone thinks, I am sure the thought might have crossed your mind.
- Can I catch coronavirus through food?
- Should I avoid going to grocery stores?
- Will a takeout make me susceptible to the COVID infection?
Well!! There is no evidence that food might transmit the virus from one person to another. However, understanding of the virus or the COVID 19 is still limited. No one can possibly confirm anything until we get some consolidated research findings. As far as we know, the disease appears to spread primarily from person to person via sneezing or coughing. So, do you need to be cautious when you are around food in any form? Let’s talk about it in detail.
Can Food be a Potential Risk Factor For Transmitting Virus?
Experts believe that even if the virus is present on food, many factors imply that it is less likely to cause transmission. First of all, there are several food measures already in place, such as frequent washing, cleaning surfaces or utensils, or cooked food. All of these make it impossible for anyone to catch the viral particles.
Another theory is the biology of the virus. It can’t survive for weeks at a time. And that is opposite to the characteristics of any food-borne virus. The amount of virus is expected to dwindle with time, rather than grow. Also, viruses are unable to survive in the stomach because of the acidic environment. It’s almost impossible to get infected from the COVID 19 through food. Still, if you are anxious, here is what you can do.
Tips to Handle Food
Although the risk is likely pretty low, there are a few steps that you can follow to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
For Store-bought Food
COVID-19 or not, it is always a good practice to clean or wash your fruits and vegetables with water to remove dirt, debris, or even pesticides. That way, you can lower the instances of food-borne germs as well. But, don’t wash the food with soap. Use water or any food-related product to clear away germs.
However, if you are concerned about the food packaging, you can wash your hands for 20 seconds after handling the packaging. A lot of stores are even offering no-contact takeouts to lessen the burden of transmission. You can shift the ingredient to a clean utensil and rewash your hands before eating. And after disposing of the packaging, you can disinfect the area where you kept the containers.
If you are ordering food online, you will be at a lower risk of contracting the virus. It’s because restaurants are likely to be at lower risk since food industry workers have higher awareness regarding food safety. It’s also noteworthy that the food industry employees have strong health policies. Even in the presence of a small symptom, they ask their employees to go home and rest. But if you are concerned about the food, cook it at 149 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately three minutes. It will significantly reduce the level of any virus particle.
The government authorities are responsible for the quality of food supply for the entire nation. It includes monitoring products, inspecting food processing facilities, and other safety protocols. The FDA oversees all the routine inspections. So, the chances of contracting the virus are very limited. But, if you still feel uneasy, store the food in the fridge or freezer. Time as well as heat, will kill the new coronavirus. And if you are concerned about the virus lingering outside of delivery containers, wash your hands before eating.
Other than that, clean and disinfect every reusable bag that you carry inside the store. Just wash the carry bags and clean them using a disinfectant wipe or spray. Also, consider wearing a mask while going grocery shopping. But, maintain a social distance of 6 feet to avoid catching the virus. By doing that, you won’t only help yourself but the community as well. Be vigilant and stay protected.