Purdue University’s Department of Food Science has a message for consumers: Don’t let a fear of the coronavirus COVID-19 to keep you from eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
The main focus of consumer messaging is that there is no research or cases that show COVID-19 is foodborne or transmitted by food, including fresh produce — whether packaged or bulk.
“There are no clinically confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to the consumption of fresh produce or food sold through traditional retail outlets,” according to a joint statement from PMA and United Fresh. “As consumers select their produce, adhering to food safety guidance is critical. We encourage consumers to wash their hands, and wash and prepare their produce following FDA recommendations.”
“Fresh fruits and veggies are going to support your immune system and gut health through this challenging time”. They suggest consumers take these steps:
* Wash hands frequently, including after a trip to the grocery store;
* Resist the urge to “manipulate” produce items on bulk displays, despite touching different items being a typical part of the selection process;
* Avoid bulk produce if immune-compromised, choosing packaged produce as an added caution, or cook the produce before eating; and
* Wash produce thoroughly.
We are actively consulting the resources and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Farmers are by nature 'socially distanced', and based on the most current information, we plan to continue with our growing and processing operations at this time.
We will provide updates here, and should there be any changes, we will communicate with all. Meanwhile:
* Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for at least 20 seconds.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
* Practice respiratory hygiene and cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
* Avoid shaking hands to reduce risk of spreading infection.
* If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
We know this is a tense time as we all make effort to flatten the curve and slow its spread.
Be Safe, Paulette, Eberhard and our Team