COVID-19 & PRODUCE
It is a difficult time for all Australians and it is critical that on a global scale we are all doing what is needed to stop the spread of COVID-19. Whilst the day to day lives of Australians has temporarily changed, the consumption of fresh, Australian grown produce must continue.
We have compiled the biggest produce myths and broken down the safest ways to enjoy produce during COVID-19.
ADVICE FOR HANDLING FRESH PRODUCE
MYTH 1: COVID-19 IS TRANSMITTED THROUGH FOOD
False, there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through food.
COVID-19 is not a foodborne disease. There is no evidence that a virus in or on food or drink will result in someone being infected.
COVID-19 is spread mainly through person-to-person contact and respiratory droplets that are produced when a person coughs or sneezes.
It is recommended you thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling fresh produce. Washing fresh produce with water only is best practice to avoid infection.
WASHING & DISINFECTANCTS
MYTH 2: I SHOULD USE SPRAYS AND SOAPS TO CLEAN MY PRODUCE
False, sanitizing produce is not necessary.
Food Standards Australia does not recommended the use any cleaning products when washing produce. Residues of cleaning products can be left on the produce which can be toxic and extremely dangerous when consumed.
Foodborne spread of COVID-19 is unlikely when produce is properly handled and cooked. CSIRO Australia recommends for fruits and vegetables to be thoroughly washed in water only. Ensure your hands are being continuously washed when preparing produce.
IMPORTANCE OF EATING FRESH
MYTH 3: ISOLATION IS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO INDULGE IN UNHEALTHY FOODS
False, the consumption of fresh produce is important now more than ever. It’s not new news that the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables are imperative to a healthy lifestyle.
Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist, Jemma O’Hanlon encourages Australians to support our health by using fresh fruit and vegetables. The vitamins and minerals help boost our immune system.
By continuing to eat fresh, you are not only supporting yourself and your loved ones health but also Australian farmers.
Share your fresh creations with #JoyofFresh #PerfectionFresh
- When preparing fresh produce, begin with clean hands: wash your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and warm water before and after preparation.
- Clean all surfaces and utensils with hot water and soap, including cutting boards and knives, before and after preparing fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Just before use, rinse under running water only the fruits and vegetables you plan to eat (including those with skins or rinds that are not eaten, such as avocados).
- Firm-skinned fruits and vegetables should be rubbed by hand or scrubbed with a clean brush while rinsing under running tap water.
- Dry your rinsed fruits and vegetables with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Do not use soap or bleach to wash fresh fruits or vegetables – these products are not intended for consumption.
- In your shopping cart and in bags at checkout, separate fresh fruit and vegetables from household chemicals and raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
- Keep produce separated this way in your refrigerator and when preparing food.
- Keep your refrigerator at or below 4° C.
- Refrigerate all cut, peeled, and/or cooked fresh fruits and vegetables within two hours of preparing to prevent bacteria growth.
Infographic supplied by Produce Marketing Association ANZ