The recent pandemic outbreak, coronavirus will have you following a lot of healthy hygienic tips, and some research has shown that the COVID-19 is susceptible to the normal cooking temperature which brings about the question if cooking can kill the virus and how sensitive it is to heat. The science surrounding coronavirus has continued to unfold and there is currently no evidence that the virus could be transferred through food and this is because it is a respiratory disease that is transferred from person to person through droplets.
Food safety experts did address the issue of having your foods cooked to prevent the spread of coronavirus as people are concerned about whether they can get the disease from the grocery stores and take out they are buying hence this article contains all you need to know about how cooking affects COVID-19.
It is important to practice healthy food hygiene and it is possible that the virus can get into the food when an infected person coughs or sneeze on the food or has the virus on their hands and touches the food which is why cooking might be the perfect solution.
Can the coronavirus be spread through food?
There have been no reported cases of the virus being passed through food, it is unlikely but the virus can be transmitted if someone infected coughs or sneeze on the food or has the virus on their hands and touches the food with it which is one of the reasons why it is important to practice good hygiene and have your hands washed regularly (1).
Coronavirus don’t multiply on food and according to information, the virus could survive up to 72 hours on hard surfaces depending on the material however the number of the viruses will reduce considerably with time and household disinfectants will kill it eventually and this simply means if your raw foods are placed on this surfaces there is a good possibility of it being contaminated (2).
Does cooking kill the virus?
The virus is susceptible to normal cooking temperature so yes cooking will likely kill the virus according to WHO and you don’t need to cook your food any differently from what you did typically do. According to experts, cooking your food to the same temperature required to kill pathogens is likely to also kill the coronavirus which causes COVID 1-9. Consumers and food businesses should practice good hygiene to prevent the virus from getting into the food however thorough cooking will kill the virus (3).
What extra measures should food business owners/managers take?
Social distancing has highly been recommended to curb the spread of the virus however food businesses have been excluded to ensure food is available for people who are on self-isolation and where employees attend work, this means maintaining a distance of 2 meters and reducing social interaction. Hare some preventive measures you need to know (4).
- You should limit the number of staff in the kitchen or food preparation area one at a time.
- If possible, space out workstation and food preparation areas
- Use a ticketing system if it is appropriate
- Use spacing measures at the tills and queue with a flooring maker if possible
- Limit the number of people who can come into your premises at a time.
Are foods eaten raw like fruits and vegetables safe?
This has not been proven but theoretically, it is a possibility, if someone who is infected sneezes or coughs directly on an apple and this apple is picked and touches the face then you could get infected and this why social distancing and personal hygiene is highly recommended at all time. If you are concerned regardless of the measures taken before buying raw produce, you can eat cook produce instead of raw (5).
There is a lot about coronavirus that is not known yet hence personal hygiene should be practiced in all areas and if you are concerned about food packaging, you can wash your hands properly before touching any food products and have it cooked with the normal temperature.
There is currently no evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted through food still the extent to which people can become infected with COVID-19 by touching their bought or eating contaminated food is unclear which means taking proper care of your food and body.