As regular readers know, my goal is to share facts, and help you enjoy eating without food fear.
During a pandemic, the world is searching for comfort. I completely understand that we’re all a little emotional. You may feel afraid, uncertain, or worried about your future or the future of others.
Recently a You Tube video went viral. A well-meaning medical doctor (wearing scrubs, who actually cross-contaminated surfaces during his demonstration) discussed how he thought you should grocery shop, and unpack and store your groceries once you get home. Many people shared his video on social media. Some experts feel it’s a bit overdone. I’ve seen many comments about it, but even when food science experts disagreed with his suggestions, some people felt “Better to be overly cautious”.
That’s fine. Please do what you feel is right, but not at the expense of your health or that of others, and please do follow safe food handling guidelines. You do not have to wipe your groceries.
Reason and Logic
There is a lot of new information coming out every week about new discoveries regarding the current pandemic. Please discuss the use of any medications with your physician.
Follow both the recommendations of the CDC and your personal physician.
What is particularly difficult at this time, is the fact that we are dealing with a novel virus. Novel, meaning new – one that even the brightest scientists are uncertain about. While we shouldn’t lose site of the knowledge and science that we have, understand that new discoveries are also taken into consideration.
Follow guidelines that are based in fact and science. Be careful about sharing information on social media from unknown sources. Handling your groceries in extreme ways may actually just add more stress and anxiety to your day. Washing your fruits and vegetables in detergent is not a good idea. It’s also not necessary, as there is no evidence this virus, or any virus, is carried via a bell pepper. Regular washing of produce, under running water, is a good habit. If you are picking up groceries or takeout, you can also use basic precautions. And again, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face without clean hands.
Social Distancing and Frequent Hand-Washing
Following the social distancing and hand-washing routine is important. Nobody can completely eliminate the changes of getting this virus or passing it along to others. If you do not have to work right now in an essential role, you can only reduce your risk by being personally responsible (stay home, wash hands, wash surfaces, etc). It’s also important to keep your home clean, and stock your pantry.
Frankly, “reducing risk”, as opposed to “eliminating risk”, is true of many things before COVID-19 if you stop and think about it.
We can only control ourselves and our own actions.
Do follow CDC guidelines to wash your hands often, stay home and limit contact with people, and isolate if you are sick or have traveled.
I encourage you to continue the hand-washing routine, forever. This simple act is proven to reduce illness and the spread of it.
In addition, here are some other resources for you when it comes to food safety:
- Food and Drug Administration
- Food Industry Association
- Center for Disease Control
- Alliance for Food and Farming
- International Food Information Council Foundation
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Comfort Food Recipes
Do try to eat a healthy diet while you are under stress, but don’t worry about occasional treats or strict food rules. A little comfort food goes a long way right now. Check out these recipes over the next few weeks: