Q: We love the fresh produce at Oryana but are concerned as to whether it could carry the COVID-19 virus. Do you know if the virus can be transmitted on food? If so, would soaking produce in vinegar kill the virus? As a last resort, we can cook all of our vegetables but we know that generally raw are healthier.
A: From the CDC website: “Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.
Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. This includes between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. However, it’s always critical to follow the 4 key steps of food safety—clean, separate, cook, and chill – to prevent food-borne illness.”
What we have been suggesting our folks to do is clean their produce with soap and water for at least 20 seconds prior to consuming to be safe.