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Can You Get Covid-19 Infection From Food? Know the Truth

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Is there Coronavirus on this food

Can you catch Covid-19 infection through food? One of the scariest parts during the pandemic and lockdowns was the thought that we could contract the virus through the food we eat. However, doctors reassured us that the spread of infection through food was as significant as it was through face-to-face contact.

Doctors encourage the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. They increase immunity, which is crucial at this time.

Just this basic step can keep you safe:

Wash whatever fruits and vegetables you bring from the market thoroughly. This we did before too and we need to do this now.

However, one extra step you must do at present is wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap for 20 seconds before you wash fruits and vegetables.

Your hands should be clean before you handle raw and cooked food.

Scrub fruits and vegetables with hands properly for more than 20 seconds. This applies more when you want to eat them raw.

This is because viruses and bacteria cannot survive when the food is cooked in high temperatures.

Wash fruits and vegetables properly

Handling food in the kitchen

Evidence indicates that Coronaviruses cannot survive in cooked food.

However, if your food stays unwashed and you freeze it without washing, virus can survive on the food surface for 2 years in the frozen stage!

This indicates that you must thoroughly wash the food even if you don’t intend to eat them or cook them. In fact, as researchers suggest, washing becomes all the more important, if you wish to store it for longer period.

Storage guidelines:

You must wipe the lid properly before opening a canned food container.

Regularly disinfect pots, utensils, countertops, and refrigerators at each use. This decreases the risk of virus cross-contamination within food items when you store them.

Also, cook food properly, keeping appropriate temperature and cooking time. Do not be lax in this regard.

Infectious does of virus

According to research, most respiratory viruses can infect at low doses. That’s why it becomes crucial to handle and consume food with caution. Otherwise, this could be become one of the mediums to transmit the infection.

That’s why the following things hold utmost importance:

  • Washing and/or sanitizing of surfaces where you intend to put fresh produce and cook them

  • Maintaining good personal hygiene while handling and cooking food

  • Avoiding handling and cooking of foods when unwell or suffering from any of the symptoms related to the Coronavirus

  • Washing hands before touching food, raw or cooked

 Getting the virus through contaminated foods

Covid-19 virus can live for about 72 hours on inanimate objects as a virion after it completes its life cycle inside the host, animal or human. (Source: van Doremalen et al, 2020).

If an infected person sneezes or coughs in front of the food, the droplets can fall on food and make it a carrier of infections. When you touch this contaminated food, it is highly likely that the virus will enter your body either through the mouth (if you eat such food), or through eyes or nose (if you touch them after touching this food). (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2020).

Coronavirus was found on the surface of ice cream at one of the shops in China. How did it get there? We leave this to your imagination!

However, more studies are required to actually prove that novel Coronavirus can stay alive on food for long enough to infect us. Yet, we must not take chances. Handle food with care. Follow protocols. Stay safe and healthy.

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