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Food Safety Tips for the COVID-19 Pandemic

Woman wearing a mask and gloves grocery shopping.

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to grip Connecticut and the nation, we thought it worthwhile to share food safety tips.

We offer this advice out of an abundance of caution while acknowledging that the FDA has stated there’s no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.

The CDC has a slightly different take on the situation.  Here we quote directly from that agency:

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

You should always handle and prepare food safely, including keeping raw meat separate from other foods, refrigerating perishable foods, and cooking meat to the right temperature to kill harmful germs.

Here are a few other tips to consider that may help you keep your family safe:

If you’re planning on ordering your groceries for delivery:

Ask your delivery person to leave the groceries outside your door. You or your delivery person may be a carrier of the COVID-19 virus, so it’s best to keep physical contact to an absolute minimum.  If you would like to tip the delivery person – best to do that electronically when placing your order, if possible.

And always wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after you pick up the groceries from your doorstep.

If you are planning on going to the store:

  • Go when it’s least crowded, and if you see friends or family, wave or a nod but keep your distance.  Hugs and handshakes are to be avoided completely for now.
  • Wear a mask
  • Bring sanitizing wipes to the store and clean any shopping carts or baskets you use. And don’t at any time touch your hands to your face.

How to handle your groceries once you get them home:

It’s a good idea to wipe down nonporous food containers (cans, bottles, and jars — glass, metal, plastic, etc.)  Any good disinfectant will work – just leave the surface of the container wet for 60 seconds before wiping it dry.  Use great care to make sure your disinfectant does not contaminate your food in the process.

For fresh fruits and vegetables – running them under water is sufficient.

When you’re done putting your groceries away – don’t forget to wipe down any kitchen surfaces touched by your grocery bags.

All of us at RisCassi & Davis hope you find these tips helpful.  We are open, working, and stand ready to help if the need arises.  Please stay safe and stay well.

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