Keeping your produce safe during COVID-19

Right now, people are eating meals at home more than ever, but may have questions about fresh produce at this time. Here are some great tips for keeping your fresh produce safe!

COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through the air, via contact with an infected person’s body fluids (from coughing or sneezing) or from contact with surfaces on which an infected person has sneezed or coughed. Could this mean that COVID-19 can be transferred on the surface of food or food packaging?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there have been no reports of the virus being transmitted via food or food packaging. Therefore at this time there are no specific recommendations of “cleaning” or wiping down food packages or produce.

However, to be on the safe side you should follow the follow CDC recommendations:

  • Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after unpacking groceries
  • Wash your hands before and after preparing meals
  • Wash or scrub all fruits and vegetables under running water before eating, cutting, or cooking
    • Note: it is not recommended to wash produce with soap as residues can remain on produce
    • Fruits and vegetables labeled “prewashed” do not need to be washed again

While many stores have decreased quantities of nonperishable products, you may notice that the fresh section is still plentiful. At this point in time, fear of COVID-19 should not be a reason to stop purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables. These items are still considered safe and are recommended to support a strong immune system.