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Coronavirus or COVID-19

Well it’s happened the Coronavirus or COVID-19 has now been declared a Pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

What is a Pandemic? Well a Pandemic simply means it effects the World. It’s a new virus. That’s why we’re all panicking and buying up toilet rolls and tins of beans.

I’ve put together some information with some facts from WHO and some basic food safety practices for food handlers. There has never been a more important time for food handlers to be trained in good food safety practices.

The World Health Organisation states that COVID-19 can spread from others who already have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are then spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around that person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breath in droplets from a person with the virus who coughs or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

On-going research shows that the virus is mainly transmitted through contact not through the air and not through food, unless it’s been touched, prepared or served with someone who already has the COVID-19 virus. The need for good food safety practices and staff training has never been more prevalent.

What can food handlers do?

It is possible that infected food handlers could introduce the virus to the food they are in contact with by coughing and sneezing, or through hand contact. However, this is unlikely to occur if food handlers in food businesses and in the home follow standard good personal hygiene practices that reduce the risk of transmission of most foodborne illnesses.

These practices include:

-proper hand hygiene: wash your hands with soap and hot water

-safe food practices: make sure you cook meat and eggs thoroughly cough/cold -hygiene practices: cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm.

-avoiding close contact, when possible, with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. Stay away if you think someone is sick.

Let me know if you would like more information on food safety for food handlers.

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