There have been many questions asked about how you should prepare your food during the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, the country’s peak science and research body, the CSIRO, have stepped in and answered a number of other questions you might have about food preparation in the time of coronavirus.
Should I wash my food more than usual?
CSIRO senior food microbiologist Cathy Moir wrote in a lengthy blog post earlier this month that you don’t need to wash your fruit and vegetables any more than usual.
It’s good practise to do this outside of the pandemic anyway.
“Please note – hand soap or dishwashing detergent are not designed for direct use on food,” she wrote.
However, at this time of heightened concern, the best advice is to wash your hands with soap – before and frequently – when preparing food and handling food packaging.
“Washing your hands and not touching your face will minimise the risk of getting an infection after touching surfaces or food packaging,” she wrote.
Professor McLaws echoed this point as well, telling people they shouldn’t wash food with soap.
Is there a risk of getting COVID-19 infection through food?
While the virus can live on surfaces for a number of hours, there is no mechanism for coronavirus to be passed on by the consumption of food.
“There is no current evidence you become infected by eating the coronavirus,” Ms Moir wrote.
“It’s a respiratory virus transmitted mainly via nose and eyes, not a gastrointestinal virus. The acid in our stomach is expected to inactivate the virus.”
Should we be eating uncooked food, like fruit, vegetables?
Yep, there’s no need to worry about eating uncooked food like fruit and salads.
“The best advice is to wash your hands with soap when preparing fruit and vegetables and to rinse fresh produce with water just before you eat it,” Ms Moir explained. So on that front, business as usual.
Should I refrigerate all my food?
You only really need to continue refrigerating items you normally would, such as meat and fresh milk.
“Viruses don’t ‘live’ or grow outside of their host, they merely exist until they are able to infect their next host. So there is no need to refrigerate food that you wouldn’t normally,” Ms Moir wrote.
The cooler temperatures will not impact or kill off the virus.
How should I clean the kitchen bench?
Ms Moir wrote that most sanitisers work better if dirt isn’t present so it’s best to clean a bench or stove before using them.
“Regular cleaning of surfaces at home is important,” she wrote.
“Cleaning with mild soap and water may be entirely adequate assuming there’s no reason to think your home is highly contaminated. The coronavirus is an ‘enveloped’ virus which makes it fairly weak when it comes to cleaning. Soap breaks down the virus envelope, making it inactive.”
As for the best sanitisers to use, Ms Moir recommended products with 62-71 per cent ethanol for 30 seconds, 0.5 per cent hydrogen peroxide for one minute or 0.1 per cent sodium hypochlorite for one minute.
“Not all of these may be available or practical for use in the home environment and importantly, more concentrated does mean greater kill,” she wrote.
“Always follow the instructions for use on the container.”
Can I use vodka to wash my hands?
Well, you can but ask yourself: is this the best or only thing I can do with vodka?
“You can use vodka but that seems a very expensive choice of sanitiser,” Ms Moir wrote. Again, it’s best to use a sanitiser with 62-71 per cent ethanol.
And no, drinking vodka will not kill the virus.
What should I do with delivered food?
When it comes to delivered food, such as UberEats or anything from a takeaway outlet, there are many steps and procedures you should consider.
Yahoo News Australia spoke with Ms Moir about the best way to preserve your Christmas leftovers in December, which should cover any questions you might have about the best way to preserve your takeaway leftovers in the best way.
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