navigate these unprecedented times, a lot of families are wondering how to
safely shop, store, and prepare food to minimize the transmission of Covid-19.
To date, there isn’t any published evidence that you will get the virus from
food packaging or touching food that came in contact with an infected person.
However, the Food and Drug
Administration reveals that coronavirus can survive on objects and surfaces for a
certain amount of time. Because of this, we are advised to regularly wash our
hands, especially after touching doorknobs, handles, or any frequently touched
it’s true that there is no specific evidence when it comes to dietary factors
that can lessen the risk of contracting coronavirus, we are certain that being
physically active, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and managing
stress are very important things that will boost our immune system and contribute
to our health and well-being.
the face of uncertainties, we would like to share some important tips for
storing and shopping for food.
- Use disinfecting wipes, alcohol, or a hand sanitizer on high-touch
This is especially true on door handles, bulk bin areas, cart handles,
electronic pin pads, and checkout kiosks. And remember, even if you take the
necessary precautions, it is still very important that you do not touch
your face until you wash your hands.
- Shop during off-peak hours. It is ideal if you shop as soon as the store opens
in the morning or late at night – maybe an hour before it closes.
- Avoid using cash. It notoriously dirty, even during the best of times. It is possible for
coins and bills to transmit viruses, so it is best to avoid using them for now.
If you cannot avoid using cash, do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly
after. Yes, you are sensing a theme – regular handwashing is important!
- The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention recommends social distancing, and this means
maintaining a distance of at least 2 meters or 6 feet from others.
To gauge whether or not you are in the ‘safe zone,’ consider: one shopping cart
is more than 3 feet long. Be sure to keep a two-cart distance between you and
preparation and storage:
- Learn to understand the dates. Remember that the ‘best before’ date is about
quality, and the ‘use by’ date is all about safety. After the ‘best before’
date, food is typically safe to eat, but the texture, taste, or smell might be
affected. Do not eat food after the ‘use by’ date, even if it looks, tastes, or
smells fine. It may make you sick.
- Wash fruits and vegetables, then blanch in boiling water for about a
them under cold running water immediately to deactivate the enzymes that cause
- Apples are a good example of fruits that can last for months in the
fridge. More perishable fruits such as berries, bananas, cantaloupe,
pineapple, and berries freeze well. Chop into bite-sized portions, place in
an airtight freezer bag or container, and freeze.
- Cupboard storage. Dry, clean, and cool shelves are the best places to store dry food,
bread, unopened jars, cans, or drinks. Produce that needs ripening, like
avocadoes, bananas, tomatoes, and pears can be ripened at room temperature and
away from direct sunlight.
- Refrigerate ‘high-risk’ foods. This includes poultry, meat, seafood, dairy, eggs, and
cooked pasta and rice. Keeping them under 5 ° Celsius stops them from being in the danger zone – the
temperature that provides a conducive environment for bacteria to multiply and
grow. You might also want to consider freezing fish and poultry. Put them in an
airtight freezer bag and label with the current date before freezing.
- Freeze to extend the foods’ ‘use by’ date. When freezing, be sure to use
appropriate packaging like plastic containers and sealed freezer bags. Here are
other freezing tips:
- Keep your freezer at or below -18 degrees Celsius.
- Do not refreeze thawed food. The quality of food deteriorates every time
you refreeze them.
- Do not place hot foods straight to the freezer.
- Foods should be thawed completely before cooking.
help food last longer, here are other important tips for storing food:
- Store dairy products at the back of the fridge where it’s coldest.
- To prevent oily residue from accumulating in your greens, stick paper
towels inside the bag to help soak up excess moisture.
- Not all vegetables and fruits need to live in the fridge. Citrus fruits,
bananas, onions, tomatoes, peaches, and potatoes can be stored in room
- If you buy grains in bulk, do not forget to put them in air-tight
containers to maintain freshness.
- You may roast certain vegetables like cauliflower or broccoli to extend
their shelf life.
- Wrapping celery in foil helps it stay crunchy and fresh for about 4
weeks in your crisper drawer.
- To prevent bananas from ripening quickly, cover its crown in plastic
wrap to slow down the release of ethylene gas.
this time, the potential for overbuying and food going bad is concerning. Remember
that being prepared doesn’t mean hoarding or stockpiling. We suggest increasing
your grocery haul, but try not to go overboard, especially when it comes to
is also a great time to experiment with new healthy recipes at home! Check out
the Nutrition Source library of recipes.
safe. Be healthy. Be well.
and Drug Administration: Frequently asked questions about COVID-19, FDA, https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions.
US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with
Potential Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Exposures: Geographic Risk and
Contacts of Laboratory-confirmed Cases,” Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, 22 March 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html.
Food Storage Tips,” Australian Institute of Food Safety, https://www.foodsafety.com.au/blog/safe-food-storage-tips.
FAQs,” SafeFood, https://www.safefood.eu/Food-Safety/Storing/Freezers/Freezer-FAQs.aspx.
Cooking,” Harvard School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/recipes-2/home-cooking/.