COVID 19 Food Safety and Transmission

COVID 19 Food Safety and Transmission

by Tonya Little | date April 5, 2020
COVID 19 Food Safety and Transmission
Written by: Annie Justmann, Registered Dietitian

Right now we are experiencing a worldwide crisis that is leaving us with more questions than ever before.  Good news is that despite the many unknowns, we have some answers and evidence-based suggestions that we can use to our advantage to help slow the spread of Coronavirus and increase our chances of getting back into Premier Health & Fitness sooner rather than later! Read below for answers to your questions from our Registered Dietitian, Annie Justmann, in regards to food consumption and COVID-19.

  • Food Safety and Transmission

What do we know about the spread of coronavirus? Despite much uncertainty, there is solid evidence that this is a respiratory virus, therefore transmission occurs through air droplets after an infected person coughs, sneezes, touches their face, etc. Currently, there’s no evidence to support the spread of infection through food and water. But, because people mindlessly cough and touch their face, food safety practices are more important than ever before.

When handling food (eating, cooking, grocery shopping, picking up a to-go order, or retrieving your social-distancing food delivery), it’s important to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If this is unavailable, hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol based is an acceptable option until a sink with soap becomes available. Additionally, periodically disinfecting countertops and surfaces throughout the day can help decrease the spread.

  • Food Availability

Many questions and concerns have been revolving around America’s food (and toilet paper!) supply. The USDA has reassured the public that we are not at risk of a food shortage, and distributers and grocery employees are working tirelessly to keep the shelves stocked. Therefore, we do not need to hoard! What we need to do is shop smart! In order to limit your trips to the grocery, utilize what’s left, take inventory of what’s needed, and take some time to make a grocery list that will provide enough food for 7-10 days. Remember to sanitize properly upon walking in and out of the store, and wipe down packaged and canned items upon returning.

  • Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Living in an unsettling time with little structure and more free-time creates opportunity to eat, drink, relax, and repeat! Less structure is correlated with decreased motivation, and increased difficulty in finding that drive to be productive, eat healthy and exercise daily. With so many unknowns, what we do know is that maintaining a somewhat structured lifestyle could be your front line of protection for mental and physical health! So, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with intentional snacks in between. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein. Hydrate well and exercise plenty. Finally, maintain proper sleep hygiene by going to bed and rising at appropriate times to keep your circadian rhythm in check. 

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