Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and food

Can coronavirus spread through food? The current outbreak is not spreading through food. rather, it ’ south spreading from one-on-one through invisible droplets of water that are suspended in the air after person who is disgusted sneezes or coughs. Anyone within six feet of an infect person is at risk. Foodborne viruses like norovirus can live for weeks on surfaces and survive freeze and heat, making it easy to transmit them through foods. We know much less about coronavirus, but the best studies suggest that it probably lives hours or a few days at most, less than most park foodborne germs. The public health officials who track the disease haven ’ metric ton found any examples of person catching COVID-19 from food. We ’ re still learning about this virus, but it ’ mho safe to say the main risk people should be focused on is avoiding liaison with an infect person, not food. I’ve got nausea and diarrhea, is it COVID-19 or something I ate?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. But a small numeral of COVID-19 patients have first had symptoms of nausea or diarrhea before developing the more common symptoms of fever and labored emit. These gastrointestinal symptoms are much more probable to be caused by foodborne illness or another common infectious disease than coronavirus. You should contact your sophisticate if you have recently been in touch with person who has COVID-19 and develop these symptoms, particularly if you besides have one of the more park symptoms of fever, cough, or trouble breathe. Is it safe to eat at restaurants during the coronavirus outbreak? The White House has advised that Americans should avoid eating out in restaurants, bars, and food courts, but you can hush order drive thru, delivery or takeout. It ’ s a drastic tone, but it is likely to reduce the spread of the virus by limiting contact with infect people. even new, healthy people are being advised not to eat out, because they can become infect and spread the virus to others, sometimes without tied having symptoms themselves. The ultimate goal is to decrease the number of modern infections by stopping person-to-person spread, so we can finally get the outbreak under control and return things to normal. Are sick food workers a risk during the outbreak? Sick food workers can spread COVID-19 disease to each early or to customers, even though they aren ’ thymine spreading it through the food itself. Three out of four restaurant workers don ’ t have paid pale leave, and over half of food workers report having come to work ghastly. That ’ s a problem with or without a pandemic, and can cause the dispersed of foodborne germs like norovirus ( which is not related to coronavirus ). Which restaurants offer paid leave to sick workers? Center for Science in the Public Interest has created a consumers ’ guide covering the disgusted leave policies of the 20 largest restaurant chains, including McDonald ’ sulfur, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. We found that only three had a paid leave policy that covered all their locations : Starbucks, Chipotle, and Olive Garden. There may even be state or local rules requiring restaurants to offer paid exit, or a local franchise owner may decide to offer benefits that are not required by the national post. But most workers are just not covered, so they have to choose between coming to work brainsick or skipping a paycheck. That could mean the difference between working and staying home. I’ve heard some restaurants are paying workers with COVID-19 who have to stay home. Is that true?

Yes. CSPI found that six of the top 20 chains have publicly committed to paying workers with COVID-19 who have to stay dwelling. That ’ s significant because even companies with regular sick leave policies alone offer three to eight days paid time off per annum, and workers actually need to be quarantined at home for two weeks if they ’ re exposed to the virus. All of these emergency policies covered two weeks ’ give for workers who have to self-quarantine ; however, many only offer those policies at company-owned locations. For a heavily franchised range like McDonald ’ second, Taco Bell, or KFC, that means the policy merely covers less than 10 percentage of its restaurants. A lot of food workers are out of work right now. How can I support them? If you ’ re ordering out, support the businesses that look out for the health of their employees by choosing a restaurant that offers paid ghastly entrust. You can besides help workers meet their immediate needs during the outbreak by supporting a one of the many relief funds being run by non-profits to support workers, like the Restaurant Worker Disaster Relief Fund set up by the Restaurant Opportunities Center. finally, you can call your congressional representatives and demand the government act to provide emergency paid brainsick leave to all workers, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as emergency kin and medical leave. Go to CSPI ’ s natural process page and fill up in your address for a handy call script. I’m eating at home. What are the best foods to stock up on during an outbreak? Foods from grocery stores are safe to eat during the outbreak, including fresh fruits and vegetables. But if you want to minimize trips to the storehouse, you can sprout up on goodly staples like beans and chickpeas, fixed or can fish, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, and whole grains like oats, brown rice, and whole grain pasta.

Be sure to wash your hands with quick water and soap for at least 20 seconds before handling food. Handwashing protects against COVID-19 angstrom well as common foodborne illnesses and other infectious diseases – avoiding unnecessary visits to the doctor of the church for these illnesses will allow healthcare providers to focus more resources on the outbreak ! I’ve heard about a dietary supplement that is supposed to prevent COVID-19does it work? There is no append that can treat or prevent COVID-19. Those seeking to profit off of populace anxiety should be a focus for law enforcement action to prevent deceptive data, and we have called on the U.S. government to take those steps when we spot such imposter. If you come across such claims, do send us an e-mail at policy @ cspinet.org or tag us @ CSPI on Twitter .