Food Safety in the Time of COVID-19: Avoid this food safety mistake (#2)

There are dangerous food safety mistakes that we can all avoid to help keep our family and friends safe, now and at any time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a top 10 list of dangerous food safety mistakes and we are looking at some easy tips to prevent those mistakes.  In the last blog we looked at tips to avoid mistake #1: eating risky foods. What is second most important food safety mistake? Not washing your hands!

Tip #2: practice proper hand washing!  Long before coronavirus and COVID-19 entered the public lexicon, there was ample evidence that proper hand washing is one of the best ways to keep our families safe and healthy and protect against illness. Even though there is no credible evidence that the coronavirus is spread by food or food packaging, proper hand washing is an important step in preventing the spread of this disease. And proper hand washing will help you avoid getting an illness like salmonellosis that is a foodborne illness. Proper hand washing is an easy step that we can take to keep our families and friends food-safe.

Tips for proper hand washing

  • Wet hands with warm running water and apply soap.
  • Rub hands together to make a lather. Continue rubbing hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse hands well under running water.
  • Dry hands using a paper towel or a clean cloth.

When should you wash your hands? There are many times throughout the day, including:

  • Before and after eating food or putting your hands to your mouth or face
  • Before, during and after preparing food for yourself and others
  • Before and after handling food or touching surfaces that may transfer germs to food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • After using the toilet or assisting others in the bathroom
  • After changing diapers or helping a child with toilet or personal hygiene
  • After touching garbage
  • After touching an animal or animal waste

What about hand sanitizer? Hand sanitizer is a good back-up if running water is not available. Your hand sanitizer product should be at least 60% alcohol content.  Apply hand sanitizer to hands, and rub hands together for 20 seconds. There is no evidence that homemade hand sanitizers or homemade sanitizing wipes prepared from alcohol and other ingredients are effective.

And check out an earlier post for ideas on making hand washing a fun activity for families. Stay well and food-safe, Barb