During a time of uncertainty, consumers may wonder what more they need to do to ensure their food is safe. The good news is that hygienic actions that reduce the risk of foodborne illness can also reduce the risk for other viruses. This article will:
- Address best food safety practices for consumers who are:
- Shopping in a grocery store
- At increased risk of contracting COVID-19
Food Safety While Grocery Shopping
- In such a public setting, the Centers for Disease Control now recommend wearing cloth face coverings. For a guide on how to create your own cloth face coverings, visit the CDC website.
- Sanitize your shopping cart or basket handles before and after use.
- Many grocery stores provide sanitizing wipes at the entrance.
- Sanitize areas of the cart that you — or anyone with you— would touch.
- Use a single-use plastic bag for meat, poultry or seafood packages.
- Wash and sanitize reusable grocery bags often.
- Use separate bags for raw meat and ready-to-eat food.
- Sanitize any door handles, salad bar tongs, checkout counters or other “high-touch” surfaces.
- Wash and sanitize your hands after grocery shopping.
Individuals at an Increased Risk of Contracting COVID-19
- Older adults
- Adults with weakened immune systems
- Individuals with chronic diseases such as lung disease, heart disease and diabetes
Food Safety for High-Risk Populations
- Avoid eating raw food, including
- Raw milk
- Soft cheese from raw milk
- Raw sprouts and mushrooms
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Choose cooked, processed or pasteurized food options.
- Choose pasteurized milk and juice.
Food Safety During Self-Quarantine
- Stay in a specific room and use a separate bathroom (if available).
- Do not prepare meals for others.
- Separate utensils, cups and plates from other household members.
- Clean and sanitize used utensils, cups and plates.