Ever since the coronavirus outbreak became a pandemic and began to infect thousands of people in India, we have become very wary of how we are conducting our lives. People are dutifully adopting all precautions to keep their families and themselves free from the clutches of COVID-19.
Because everyone is cautious, they have plenty of questions about how the virus spreads. And one of the most frequently asked questions is, “Can coronavirus spread through food?”
Read on to know whether the food you eat is safe.
Coronavirus and food
Every time you go to the grocery store, the market or place online grocery orders to replenish your supply of foods, you might have wondered if you are bringing coronavirus home and risking the health of your family. The fear is rational. After all, we have all been advised to disinfect everything that comes in from outside.
So, what do experts have to say about it? According to WebMD, the World Health Organization, and other healthcare experts, there is no evidence yet that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food.
So, is food safe?
Remember, experts have said that there is no evidence yet that food can spread coronavirus. So that does not conclusively prove that food and packages containing food are completely safe.
Epidemiologists and virologists have explained that there is a lot they don’t yet know about the novel coronavirus. Studies are ongoing to understand the nature of this virus. New facts may emerge at any moment. By their own admission, experts are still to understand all the modes through which the virus spreads and infects people and what objects can be considered as threats.
But there is good news
So what is the good news? It is believed that foods are low risk and not very likely to give you or your loved ones the coronavirus infection.
Why? Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has conclusively proved that the primary mode of transmission of COVID-19 is person-to-person contact.
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the viruses are emitted from his/her body and enter the bodies of people who are in the vicinity. Globally, this is how most of the persons who contracted the infection got the virus in the first place.
The second reason why foods can be considered safe is that there are multiple regulations that are enforced in our country to ensure that food is cooked and transported hygienically.
A worldwide effort to prevent other infectious diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery put in place rigorous hygienic standards that are implemented in all stages- from production, testing, packaging to supplying and delivering of food.
Better safe than sorry
Even though foods are low-risk, should you abandon safety precautions? No, because scientists have discovered that coronavirus can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours.
So if the people who unload foods from trucks and trains are sick or if your local vegetable seller and the grocery store owner is infected, then the virus could end up on the surface of the vegetables or food packets. Similarly, the person who delivers your grocery orders could leave traces of coronavirus on the package.
What should you do?
To eliminate all risks of getting COVID-19 from food, adopt a few simple precautions-
- Wash your hands with soap and water once you come home from the grocery store or food market.
- Rinse your vegetables, fruits or eggs under running water.
- Use a scrub to cleanse your foods.
- Wipe food packets clean with water, detergent and a clean cloth.
- You should peel off the outermost layers of cabbage and onions.
- Clean all utensils.
Avoid restaurants after lockdown
Even after the lockdown is lifted, avoid restaurants for two reasons-
- You do not know if all hygienic precautions have been adopted.
- A staff member or anyone eating out in the restaurant could be infected.
At a critical time like this, we have to be extra careful. Clean all food items and stay home to avoid exposure to COVID-19.