These simple steps to limit the risks associated with food purchases

In these pandemic times, shopping for food and preparing food looks like an obstacle course. In theory, all you have to do is touch a surface contaminated with the still active (infecting) virus and then touch your face to be infected.

In theory, because in practice after a period usually of a few hours, and more rarely a few days, depending on the amount of virus deposited and the ambient conditions, there is no longer any trace of the virus. And if there are any, it won’t be infectious after two or three hours, according to a recent study.

The important thing is to respect the barrier measures, if you stay a meter from the others you do not risk much unless your neighbor sneezes in your face!

Pr François Bricaire

“Don’t panic because you’re going to do your shopping, insists on behalf of the Academy of Medicine, Pr François Bricaire (infectiologist), the important thing is to respect the barrier measures, if you stay within a meter of the others you will not risk much unless your neighbor sneezes in your face! ” But what also worries is the risk of being contaminated by buying foodstuffs that are. “If someone who is contaminated came before you and touched the fruits or vegetables you buy, yes, why not, but it is rather a textbook case,” he adds.

»SEE ALSO – Coronavirus: the precautions to take when shopping at the supermarket

As for meat, as of March 11, the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES), recalled in a notice that “transmission by an animal being unlikely, the possibility of direct transmission of the virus through food from contaminated animals has been ruled out by experts. Obviously we cannot exclude that a patient could contaminate the food while preparing it, “it is the occasion to remind that one does not prepare a meal when one is sick even if this coronavirus does not resist cooking as soon as moderate temperatures (64 ° C, 4 minutes), notes Gilles Salvat, Deputy Director of Research at ANSES. In any case, there is no presumption of food transmission in the hundreds of publications on this coronavirus. “

Logically, you can let your shopping rest (apart from fresh produce) two or three hours after bringing it home, “for the packaging of products that need to go in the fridge, like milk or yogurt, you can simply clean them with a damp paper towel before putting them away, ”explains Gilles Salvat.

It’s not about getting intoxicated with a disinfectant

Gilles Salvat

For fruits and vegetables, “Just wash them with water,” says Pr Bricaire. “A precaution that must be taken with all the fruits and vegetables before putting them in the refrigerator, adds Gilles Salvat, washing them with water and drying them to prevent them from rotting too quickly”. No need to pass them with soap, white vinegar or to peel them, therefore. Water does the job very well, “it would not be a question of getting intoxicated with a disinfectant”, worries Gilles Salvat.

What about bread? “No problem if the baker respects the precautions, uses gloves that he changes often and / or regularly cleans his hands and puts the wand in paper, moreover the coronavirus only survives a few hours on a dry surface, explains he. The most anxious can also gently heat the baguette for 4 minutes at 64 ° C. ”


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