While Singapore seems to be doing pretty well in terms of containing the spread of the virus, you may be wondering about what you could do as an individual to reduce the risk of exposure as much as possible. Avoiding contact with people who appear sick is one of the biggest essentials and you also need to get in the habit of maintaining stellar personal hygiene.
When it comes to Covid-19 and food safety, however, are there any reasons to worry and what should you do to make sure that all of the people you love are safe?
Coronavirus and Food Safety: WHO Recommendations
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised Covid-19 as a serious health risk, hence it has put together a list of preventative practices and recommendations aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
Covid-19 spreads primarily through droplets of bodily fluids (saliva, nasal discharge) that contain the virus. Thus, the most important preventative measures focus on wearing masks and maintaining stellar personal hygiene.
When it comes to food safety, WHO insists on careful handling of raw meat.
The consumption of raw, uncooked or partially cooked animal products is to be avoided altogether. There’s a simple reason why undercooked or uncooked foods shouldn’t be consumed. Covid-19 is believed to have passed the species barrier from animals to humans through the consumption of contaminated meat.
A couple of important practices can maximise food safety at a time of an outbreak.
Use a separate chopping board for meat that you wash with soap immediately after you’re done with cutting. If you touch animal products with your bare hands, wash them after you’re done. Always cook meat thoroughly to make sure bacteria and contaminants have been completely eliminated before the consumption of the respective product.
WHO also warns individuals to be careful when interacting with animals, especially strays. Avoid touching such animals and if you do, wash your hands immediately after the contact.
Safety Tips for Food Workers
Food workers and individuals employed in places like the Singaporean wet markets should adopt a couple of additional safety habits.
As a food worker, you will need to wash your hands multiple times throughout the day. Use water and soap when you get to work, before handling uncooked/partially cooked animal products, after that, after handling waste or money, after the completion of cleaning duties, when handling money and when taking a break to eat, have a cigarette or a sip of water.
Cleaning work surfaces and making sure they’re properly disinfected will also be essential to eliminate the risk of potential viral spread.
If you work with food and you experience symptoms like fever, coughing, chest tightness and general flu-like issues, inform your employer. Stop preparing food for others and do seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
The use of protective clothing, masks and gloves are recommended for food venue and market workers who come in contact with animal ingredients and who also serve numerous customers throughout the day.
Making Sure the Food You Consume Is Safe
There is one final essential aspect to discuss when it comes to Covid-19 and food safety.
What does it take to make sure the meals you’re consuming are perfectly safe and free from contamination?
Heat treatment is the most important precaution. The coronavirus cannot survive on surfaces and on meat for a long period of time. Thus, cooking meat at temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or more will be sufficient to completely destroy the virus.
If you don’t feel like preparing meals on your own, choose a professional service. A restaurant or a catering company can deliver professionally-made meals to your venue. This way, you can rest assured that the most important safety practices have been followed and you will also be minimising the interactions with other individuals.
Always check the reputation of a particular food service provider. Make sure that the company is known for its impeccable hygiene and adherence to the strictest industry standards.
Eatz Catering is one such company and we’ve developed an array of menus you can explore if you want to consume delicious meals and limit interactions with others in venues like restaurants.
Our Family Set Mini Buffet is an excellent choice for up to eight people. Take a look at the possibilities and choose between Chinese, Malay and Thai-inspired dishes. The entire process can be completed online and within the safe confines of your home or your office. All you have to do is submit the order and await for the food to be delivered to your door.