Safe Grocery Shopping during COVID-19

By Food Focus on 14 July 2021

If we follow these rules for safe grocery shopping during Covid-19, we will keep ourselves safe, not just from COVID 19 but other foodborne illnesses too.

1. Do you have to physically GO shopping?
Rather use an online delivery service offered by most of the retailers. Especially if you are a high-risk individual with other health concerns like heart problems, diabetes etc.

2. Keep your distance
If you do have to go out, maintain social distancing and adhere to the additional hygiene measures in the store.

3. It's not foodborne
The WHO have stated that food itself is not a vehicle of transmission. In other words, you cannot contract the virus from eating food.

4. Food safety is a priority
Everyone is doing their bit as all food companies along this chain, whether processing or distributing or selling, have to introduce additional measures to ensure they comply with physical distancing and protecting their staff. This means there are already extra precautions being taken that will even protect the products.

5. Food packaging risks
There has been very limited evidence that food containers, or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.  BUT Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects, especially surfaces like plastic and cardboard that have been shipped over a period of days or weeks, whether at room temperature or colder temperatures in the case of refrigerated and frozen foods.

6. Hand hygiene is vital
When you get home from shopping, wash your hands before you handle your food. After handling your food, wash your hands again.

7. Avoid cross-contamination
Remove the outer packaging before we move the product into our kitchens – you should do the same if you can and transfer your food into a clean container. Try and avoid placing cardboard packaging on food preparation surfaces to avoid any contamination.
a. Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods.
b. In your fridge always put the raw foods BELOW the cooked foods.
c. Wash your fruit and vegetables well BEFORE you eat them, especially if you are eating them raw.
d. Wash your hands after handling raw eggs and peeling vegetables BEFORE you eat anything.

8. Cook it properly
Make sure you are cooking your food all the way through, and make sure to re-heat any leftovers properly in the microwave.

9. Kitchen hygiene
Take extra care in cleaning and sanitising your kitchen surfaces during this time

If we follow these rules, we will keep ourselves safe, not just from COVID 19 but other foodborne illnesses too

Stay home, stay safe.