• Maria Cecelia Pfund, FRHC Nutrition Specialist

Food Safety for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. COVID-19 is affecting people worldwide. Populations at increased risk for complications such as older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes and lung disease are encouraged to take extra precautions and stay home.

Food safety is part of good hygiene practice and should always be practiced. Before preparing or eating food, we need to wash our hands with clean, warm water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. We should also must wash our hands after being out in public, touching one’s face, coughing, sneezing, blowing one’s nose, and using the bathroom. If handwashing is not available, hand sanitizer with at least 60-percent alcohol may be used until we are able to wash hands again. Other important practices include cleaning and disinfecting countertops and other surfaces. Sharing food and beverages is discouraged because they can have saliva and respiratory droplets. Proper food safety recommendations also include promptly refrigerating foods, keeping raw and cooked foods separate, and heating food to the appropriate internal temperature (≥ 165 °F). Take-Home Message: Food safety is a basic prevention measure to take against COVID-19. Frequent handwashing, keeping food at safe temperatures, separating raw and cooked foods, etc. are examples of recommended food safety practices.

Reference Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2020). Coronavirus (COVID-19). Eat Right. https://www.eatright.org/coronavirus

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