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.
For further guidance, please refer to the latest government advice here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses
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 apply the HACCP guidelines with some modifcations, such as sanitising hands more often and changing gloves more regularly.
2. COVID-19 PACKAGING QUESTIONS?
Can the virus spread via packaging? The COVID-19 virus is thought to be spread mainly through respiratory droplets. We are aware it can survive on surfaces but test are still ongoing as for how long it does so. If handling packaging we recommend thorough hand washing before and after.
3. COVID-19 DISINFECTION QUESTIONS?
1. Which cleaning practice is recommended? The standard Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) cleaning and disinfection measures are considered sufficient to inactivate the COVID-19 virus.
2. 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 85°C - you can adjust the temperature on some commercial dishwashers)
4. COVID-19 PERSONAL HYGIENE QUESTIONS:
1. Should all kitchen staff wear masks? Protective masks should only be used by symptomatic individuals or by healthy individuals looking after someone who is ill. (Unfortunately, there is a global shortage of masks, therefore they should be used wisely).
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.