Many of us have spent a lot of time pondering and worried about how we might catch COVID-19 while living through a pandemic. Here’s some exciting news: The risk of contracting COVID-19 by eating or touching food and food packaging is thought to be quite low.
It’s crucial to understand the two ways that foodborne illnesses are transferred in order to understand why you’re unlikely to develop coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from the food you eat. The first is that the food is tainted from within.
“This happens when food, such as lettuce or red onions, is contaminated with a pathogen (a disease-causing organism, such as E. coli) that may have developed when it was growing or been transported.”
The pathogen may be harmless to animals but hazardous to humans in some situations. Chickens and cows, for example, carry salmonella and E. coli, which won’t make them sick but can make humans sick if the meat isn’t prepared properly.
“If nothing is done to physically remove or inactivate the pathogen, such as cooking or washing it, then these infected items can cause foodborne illnesses in humans,” says the researcher.
The second way you can get a foodborne disease is if someone who is handling your food becomes ill with a virus or bacteria and contaminates the food item while it is being prepared.
“The most likely way for this to happen is through faecal-oral transmission,” says the expert.
For example, if someone with the norovirus, which causes what is often known as the stomach flu, does not properly wash his or her hands after using the restroom and then handles food you eat, you may contact the stomach bug as well.
Someone would have to be sick with COVID while preparing your food, have a high enough viral load and cough or sneeze directly into or onto your food for COVID to have any possible foodborne contamination route.
COVID-19 caused by a virus can be killed at temperatures like other known viruses and germs present in food, thus even if someone with COVID-19 handled your food, if it is cooked or well rinsed off, the virus will be inactivated or removed.
On Food Packages: COVID-19
Some experts suggested cleaning groceries and food packaging or placing non-perishables outside for 24 hours in the early stages of the pandemic. As more information about COVID-19 has been available, these precautions have become obsolete.
COVID-19 cannot multiply and survive on the surface of food containers because it requires a live animal or human host to multiply and survive. Food packaging does not need to be disinfected, but basic hand hygiene should always be practised when handling food.
The virus that causes COVID-19 can be removed and killed by washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds. As a result, even if the virus is on the package you brought into your house, if you fully wash your hands after handling it, the virus will be killed and removed.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) testing has gone a long way from its inception little over a year ago, with a variety of techniques available, but the PCR test has proven to be the most effective. Claret Diagnostics Ltd specialises in PCR Testing in London for travel and work, as the name implies.