Food and the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Safety Tips and Strategies to Keep You Healthy at Home and the Store

A lot of details go into planning to stay safe while out shopping for food during the current pandemic. You are probably familiar with the caution to maintain social distancing guidelines and the wearing of masks. However, a multitude of ways exist in which viruses and other pathogenic microbes can infect us at the store or when we get home. An understanding of the pathways of transmission and attributes of a virus can lend a new perspective to staying safe and healthy.

One of the ways to limit the transmission of the virus to you while shopping at the store is to print a grocery list that can be discarded after locating items. This is safer than using the list on a smart phone as the possibility of transference of pathogens from the store to your pocket and home will be lessened. Also remember to sanitize your phone as it can be a tool of contagion. An understanding of the virus and its attributes can help.

Viruses are not living except after having invaded a host. A virus is a protein surrounded by fat. They can be destroyed in the following ways:

1. The fatty outer layer can be broken down with soap and detergent. Once the soap breaks the outer protection down, the protein becomes vulnerable and can be destroyed. 

2. Alcohol is another substance that breaks down the virus’ fatty protection so it can be destroyed.

Eliminate the transfer of harmful pathogens by avoiding touching products unless you plan to purchase them. The more shoppers that touch an item, the more opportunity the virus has to travel person to person. You can learn to recognize when a fruit or vegetable is ripe or in good condition without touching. And remember to keep that hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol ready and maintain good hand washing habits.

Get more tips on storing food, nutrition and food safety by watching Stealth on Health, Season 1, Episode 12 below!

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