The global fruit trade has been coming into terms with the crippling effects of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 with fruit market channels and supply chains severely disrupted. These have direct implications on the purchasing behaviors of consumers and diets of the masses.
Incorporating fruits into diets has become more important than ever, and despite the disruption created by COVID-19 there has been an increase in demand for fresh produce, including fruits. Nevertheless, consumers are often faced with the fear of acquiring the virus during purchase or handling of fruits.
Overall, public health experts concur that there is no established evidence for contracting the virus from touching fruit or food packaging. Experts also point out that despite the probability for food or its packaging to carry the virus, the risk of transmission is minimal. Rather, great emphasis has been placed on heightened personal hygiene, increasing the frequency of hand-washing, adopting relevant sanitization measures, coupled with adherence to social distancing while shopping.
Below are some helpful resources and links which have been compiled to highlight pertinent recommendations and best practices for both for consumers and handlers which dispel fears and guide the next purchase of fresh produce including fruits during the current COVID- 19 outbreak:
- Harvard School of Public Health
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Institute for Food Safety Cornell:
– Food Industry Resources
– Food Safety Recommendations for Consumers
- Center for Strategic and International Studies
- US Department of Agriculture
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- World Health Organization
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand
- North Carolina State Extension
- Singapore Food Agency
Continue having your daily fruit intake. Stay informed. Stay safe.