Can you catch the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from food? How should I do laundry now? Mundane household tasks have turned into a source of uncertainty and anxiety as families grapple with getting the basics done all while keeping their loved ones safe and healthy. Widespread misinformation about the virus puts everyone at risk and adds to the stress of having to filter fact from fiction.
While research into the COVID-19 virus is ongoing, we know the virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (through coughing and sneezing), and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. The virus may survive on surfaces for a few hours up to several days.
The Deputy Health Minister, Roman Prymula suggests that “you should store the disinfected food in the fridge for two days before eating it, and when the two days have passed, do everything you can to avoid touching the food packaging,” he added.
Prymula points out that “the most important thing is to avoid contact with the surface of the package so that I don’t really touch something that I then bring into the mouth – like a spoon -, because it can be contaminated,” he explains.
“Previous learnings have suggested that coronavirus may persist in the air, paper, and tissue for up to three hours, on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours, on cloth for 48 hours and on plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours,” says Prymula.
“I would recommend creating a so-called “infectious place”, where I would leave the things outside and not carry them anywhere,” he added.
Food packaging and handling precautions
- Remove any unnecessary packaging and dispose into a waste bin with a lid.
- Remove food from take-out containers, place on a clean plate, and dispose of the container.
- Packaging like cans can be wiped clean with a disinfectant before being opened or stored.
- Wash unpackaged produce, such as fruit and vegetables, thoroughly under running water.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, immediately afterward.