The pace at which Coronavirus transmits has made everyone wonder, how it has spread like a wildfire. There exist unanswered questions, like does the COVID-19 virus transmit through food, what food safety precautions must be taken at the grocery stores or the kitchen?
COVID-19 pandemic spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets released in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These infectious viruses may survive on surfaces and objects like vegetables or fruits reinforcing the need to adopt proper hygiene measures.
Surface contamination of COVID-19
However, it must be noted that COVID-19 is not a gastrointestinal illness that can be contracted by ingesting contaminated foods, though it can transmit by food packages which are made up of plastics.
In a study conducted by the researchers from the School of Public Health, LKS Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, the stability and infectivity of COVID-19 virus on plastic surfaces like food packaging is 7 days. This explains why Food safety during COVID- 19 outbreak assumes vital importance.
Older adults and those who are at high-risk exposure like those with cardiovascular disease or hypertension must evaluate the foods they consume and maintain precautions while they go for essential grocery shopping.
Safety Precautions – Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping of essentials cannot be ignored in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us will be apprehensive about going to the supermarket with the fear of contracting with another person who may be sick. For the essential grocery shopping thus, it is highly advised to maintain a 6 feet distance with another shopper. Here is a list of safety precautions you must take while grocery shopping during the Coronavirus pandemic-
Coronavirus Safety Precautions- At the Grocery store
- Wash your hands with soap and water before you head for grocery shopping.
- Sanitize your hands with a hand sanitizer containing a minimum of 60% alcohol before you enter the store.
- Make sure you sanitize your basket handles and shopping cart before and after use.
- Maintain physical distance with other shoppers and if possible, avoid aisles with other shoppers.
- Make a list beforehand, so that you spend minimal time shopping.
- Avoid touching other products except for those on your shopping list.
- If possible, bill using a self-check-in line and pay with a card. It is wise to wipe the card after use with a wipe or a sanitized tissue.
- Use a hand sanitizer, when you leave the store.
Coronavirus Safety Precautions – After coming Home
- Sanitize or wash your hands before you start to store groceries and vegetables.
- If you have bought many perishable products, refrigerate it once to avoid waste.
- If you stay with people who are at an increased risk of Coronavirus infectivity like senior citizens concerned about the potential surface transmission, it is good to sanitize food packages before you store them.
- Consume perishable foods like raw meat and poultry before the expiration date to mitigate the risk of stomach upsets.
Precautions While Exchanging Money at Grocery Stores
According to researchers from the School of Public Health, LKS Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus) can stay active on banknotes for 4 days, increasing the possibility of virus transmission when one touches money which passes through different hands.
It is safe to use the card instead, and if you are still using the money for shopping, properly sanitise or wash your hands after handling money, before you eat or touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
How safe is your Kitchen Counter?
Coronaviruses can be infective on several infective surfaces ranging from several hours to days, it is important to sanitize and clean smooth surfaces like the kitchen counters especially during food preparation. Some safety precautions which can be followed include-
- Before you sanitize, always clean the dirty kitchen surfaces with water and soap. If you miss this, your sanitation drive may not be effective.
- Follow all care instructions that come along with the different types of commercial disinfectants like liquid, spray, or wipes.
- Don’t use concentrated bleach as a disinfectant, it is highly toxic.
- Handle the disinfectant surface cleaners with gloves on your hands, they may cause skin damage.
- Those who are feverish with breathing troubles, vomiting, coughing, or have diarrhoea or other symptoms of illness should rest and not work in the kitchen for cooking or cleaning.
Safety Measures while Planning Meals
- Wash your hands up to the wrists thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds before you start to prepare meals. Follow the same precaution before serving or eating food.
- After you have washed your hands, dry them with a clean towel, and avoid touching your face, mouth or nose.
- Wash all the vegetables especially the green leafy vegetables like Spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage thoroughly under running water.
- Wash your hands with soap after you handle raw meat, fish or eggs.
- Don’t forget to clean cutting surfaces, knives, and utensils after handling raw vegetables or meat.
Reaching out to a Dietitian and an Infectious disease Specialist
You can Digitally consult a dietitian or an infectious disease specialist over the phone, app, or the video to ease out your concerns about Coronavirus contamination and spread. Unlock the power of telemedicine technology and consult an infectious disease specialist or dietitians around you, by booking an appointment on the Gigadocs app.
Gigadocs is an intelligent practice management software assisting you to book doctors around you. You can store your medical records, track your vitals like pulse rate, steps walked, and share them with your digital doctor through the secure Gigadocs platform on a real-time basis. Gigadocs app notifies your next medical appointment and ensures you never miss any follow-up appointments.
To download Gigadocs app-
To know more e-mail, at email@example.com
Seek your digital doctor and dietary support from trained health care professionals on the Gigadocs app.