The rise of Covid-19 has many Food-Service professionals concerned about the spread of the virus in food. Even though the basics of Food Safety remains highly important, our dedicated team of research professionals, have answered the latest Food Safety questions, in this Covid-19 Food Safety guideline.
1. COVID-19 COOKING QUESTIONS?
- Can food transmit the Coronavirus? There has been no evidence of foodborne transmission for the current virus or similar viruses.
- Is HACCP guidelines sufficient for preventing the spread of the virus? Yes, always first apply the HACCP guidelines with some modifications, such as sanitizing hands more often and changing gloves more regularly.
- Which pasteurization procedures should I now use? Standard pasteurization procedures are sufficient to inactivate COVID-19 when preparing food.
View the common FATTOM Factors for more on Food Safety.
2. COVID-19 PACKAGING QUESTIONS?
- Can the virus spread via packaging? The COVID-19 virus is thought to be spread mainly through respiratory droplets. Currently, there has been no evidence of foodborne transmission for it.
3. COVID-19 DISINFECTION QUESTIONS?
- Which cleaning practice is recommended? The standard Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) cleaning and disinfection measures are considered sufficient to inactivate the COVID-19 virus.
- Which disinfectants are recommended? Common disinfectants such as Sodium Hypochlorite and Ethanol (at relevant concentrations) should inactivate coronaviruses.
- Can virus-contaminated services cross-contaminate food? Yes, therefore the following guidelines should be applied:
- Proper cleaning and disinfection must always be in place to control all types of micro-organisms (bacteria, molds, yeasts, parasites, viruses, including Corona).
- The frequency of cleaning and disinfecting should be increased.
- Also, high temperatures are effective for surface cleaning (e.g. dishwasher 70°C).
4. COVID-19 PERSONAL HYGIENE QUESTIONS:
- Should all kitchen staff wear masks? South African authorities have recommended the use of face masks. Refer to the WHO advice on the use of masks.
- Should all kitchen staff wear gloves? Hand and arm washing rules should strictly be followed. Sanitize hands more often and if wearing gloves change more regular then normal.
- Who should not handle food? Food handlers with symptoms such as fever, sore throat or sneezing, etc., must be prevented from handling food or materials which come into contact with food.
- What else can we do to prevent contamination
- Always wash hands regularly (i.e. before handling food, after handling raw food, after using the toilet, disposing of waste) with warm water and liquid soap.
- Do not cough or sneeze in your hands.