Although the coronavirus-causing COVID-19 is not known to be food-borne, it’s important that food handlers and diners must take proper precaution when cooking or eating to avoid catching the virus.
1. Avoid raw foods for now, including raw fish, meat, unpasteurized dairy products.
2. Wash vegetables, fruits thoroughly if uncooked, and eat immediately.
3. Reheat leftover food before eating.
4. Those cooking food must wash their hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) after doing any of the following: cleaning work areas (countertops, oven, etc), handling raw food, touching garbage, touching one’s face or other parts of the body, shaking hands, going to the toilet, touching door knobs.
The cook must behave like a surgeon who’s already sterile and should avoid contamination during the entire operation.
5. The cook should also preferably use face mask.
6. If any of the cook or food handlers feel unwell or a bit “under the weather,” even if they don’t have fever or other flu-like symptoms, they should not be allowed to work.
7. In restaurants and other food establishments, there should be a sink dedicated solely to hand washing.
8. Use disposable towels/tissues or hand dryers. Avoid used towels. Used paper towels or tissues should be thrown immediately in the garbage bin.
9. Countertops used for cooking or preparing food should also be dry, since dampness can promote the growth of the virus.
10. The cooking and dining areas must have good ventilation. In air-conditioned rooms, open windows for at least 30 minutes to an hour daily to improve air quality inside. Draw open the curtains and let the sunshine in.