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Food Safety During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As we all know, you really can’t be too careful during these difficult times. It’s becoming increasingly more important to know proper safety precautions to take with everything in daily life, including our food.

How long can coronavirus live on a contaminated surface?

  • It depends on the material of the surface. Coronavirus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on stainless steel and plastic for up to three days.

Is it riskier to order food or to cook at home?

  • Again, this depends. If your local grocery store is crowded with other people, it’s best to avoid shopping. If possible, wait until the crowd thins out, or order groceries online. When ordering food from a restaurant, it’s ok to ask them how they’re staying safe during this trying time. Do your best to keep a safe distance from the delivery person, transfer the food into fresh containers, and of course, wash your hands before, during, and after shopping or picking up take-out.

How can I stay safe when going food shopping?

  • As we keep hearing- if you have to go out for essentials, be sure to keep your distance from other shoppers and employees. Bag your own groceries or use the self-checkout, and be sure to disinfect and wash your hands as soon as you can afterwards. Remember to be kind and thank those working and helping us during this crazy time!

How do I sterilize my food?

  • Heat liquids like soups, stews, and sauces to a brief simmer, making sure to stir frequently so that it heats evenly throughout.
  • Microwave vegetables, pasta, thick purées like mashed potatoes, and meat until piping hot—hot enough that you’d worry about burning your mouth if you took a bite. For most microwaves, that means about 90 seconds per serving on high heat (but microwave power can vary).
  • Sauté loose bite-sized items like short pasta shapes, loose vegetables, or stir-fries until they maintain a steady sizzle as you stir them around the pan. A minute or two in a preheated skillet is sufficient for a couple of servings.
  • To reheat cutlets, casseroles, or bread in the oven, preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C), place the food on an oven-safe tray with shallow sides (high sides can block hot air from circulating), and heat until the surface of the food is too hot to touch for more than an instant.
  • Chopped-and-formed foods like meatloaf, meatballs, dumplings, falafel, etc. should be thoroughly heated to the center, following the time and temperature guidelines stated above (heat to an internal temperature of at least 149°F/65°C, and hold it there for at least 3 minutes).
Source: Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Stay well!!