Malaysia is one of the ‘swee...
Contemplating over what to eat and feeling lazy to cook ? Food delivery is always the go-to choice. Just one click and food arrives at your doorstep, how quick and easy.
But you pause and give it a second thought “ Will I contract the virus from food handler or even the food itself? “
THE ANSWER IS … NO! You are not likely to get COVID-19 through food ingestion !
According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), COVID-19 transmission through food is very unlikely. To date, no findings suggest the spread of coronavirus via food consumption. The main route of transmission of this respiratory viruses is via inhalation of respiratory droplets containing virus. Person to person transmission holds a much higher risk of transmission for COVID-19 rather than through food ingestion
Similarly to other viruses, coronaviruses are intracellular pathogens which are unable to replicate on their own as they lack the necessary cell functions for transcription of genetic information. They highly depend on their host cells to facilitate this replication process through host cell machineries and metabolism. This is done by invading living animal or human cells to deliver its genome into the host cells to allow subsequent viral replication to take place.
SURVIVAL OF COVID-19 ON SURFACES?
Now you might feel more relieved upon hearing this information. BUT…
Study results did show that coronaviruses are able to survive on certain surfaces of inanimate objects, implying this virus has a certain level of stability. Despite not being able to replicate, this virus can remain active on several surfaces for some tme. Survival of coronaviruses on polyvinyl chloride (PVC), glass and stainless steel were previously reported and they can last for hours or even days, depending on several factors such as the humidity, temperature and surface types.
TRANSMISSION OF COVID-19 THROUGH FOOD PACKAGING?
Having said that, coronaviruses can linger on food packaging such as plastic containers made of PVC. Touching surfaces contaminated with coronaviruses followed by touching mouth , eyes or noses is a more probable indirect route of transmitting the virus. However, the risk of this transmission route is thought to be low.
SAFETY MEASURES :
Better safe than sorry. There is no harm in practicing good safety measures at all times to reduce risk of contagion. Transmission of virus through food packaging should be avoided despite the very low risk .
It is crucial to always practice good hygiene, especially in a trying time like this. ALWAYS wash our hands thoroughly to kill viruses deposited on our hands or even fingernails especially after handling takeout containers.
Another helpful tip is to disinfect the outside of food containers once you receive them. If possible, the outer food packaging could be discarded. This can help reduce the risk of transmission and it is a good hygiene practice as well. To be extra safe, you could even transfer the food to your own bowl and use your own utensils when eating.
Virus deposited on our hands or fingertips possess a high risk of virus transmission. We are advised to reduce the frequency of touching our eyes, mouths or noses to avoid transfer of virus to our respiratory systems.
Taking into account the fact that food is not a known source of coronavirus transmission, adherence of good hygiene measures when handling food provides us assurance that virus spread via food is definitely preventable.
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Disclaimer: As a service to our users and general public, Doc2Us provides health education contents. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician
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