During a difficult time like a pandemic, the safety of our families and those we love is paramount. This affects those in our bubble or household—including ourselves. Scientific experts and food safety authorities around the world are closely observing the spread of COVID-19. Through this observation, evidence shows that there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19, or its new variants, being spread through food or food packaging.
Like any other ongoing health and food safety issue, if Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) becomes aware of any risks, they have outlined appropriate actions will be taken to protect Canadian consumer and the national food supply.
- Use common cleaning and disinfection methods to help eliminate bacteria.
- Washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and food packaging. In moments when you do not have access to running water, Health Canada suggests that you use one of these approved hand sanitizers.
- Always cook your food to recommended safe internal temperatures. COVID-19, like other coronaviruses, are killed by normal cooking temperatures.
- Always disinfect any surfaces that will come in contact with food.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables that are purchased outside of retail packaging.
- Washing fresh produce with soap, chlorine or other chemicals is not recommended. Fresh produce is porous and can absorb chemicals that are not intended for consumption.
- Wash your produce under running water instead of soaking it in the sink. Bacteria in the sink could be transferred to your food.
While we are all doing our part to practice fundamentals in our own homes, and maintaining safe distances outside the front door, shopping is still part of our day-to-day lives. When you are out shopping, it’s crucial to be safe during the store visit and when bringing your goods home.
- Many stores have hand sanitizer stations at the entrance of the store. If not, bring hand sanitizing solutions and use when entering and leaving stores.
- If it is permitted, bring your own clean reusable grocery bags.
- Keep a safe distance from other people in the store while shopping (approx. 2 metres).
- Wear a non-medical mask or face covering while out in public, particularly in crowded settings.
- Avoid touching items on shelves that you are not going to take and purchase.
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose while shopping.
- Wash your hands when you get back home and after handling food and food packaging.
These small modifications to our regular outings have been shown to help reduce spread and ultimately, protect our communities. At the beginning of the outbreak in Canada, the Government of Canada invested an additional $20 million to the CFIA to support critical food inspection that help to ensure that Canadians will have continued access to safe, high-quality food to feed their families. Canadian families can feel confident and assured that by balancing important steps as Canadians individually; CFIA will continue to inform the public of food recalls, deliver critical services that protect food safety, animal health, plant health and market access.
CFIA plays a key role in conserving a healthy food supply system, ensuring the foods we eat are safe and facilitating the trade of food and food products internationally. Here at Source, we are always following the latest news and updates regarding food safety. Although there is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of COVID-19, Canadians can rest assured that our nation has a strong food safety system in place.
As we all try to stay positive and look at the future with optimism, our team at Source would like to send thanks and warm thoughts to those of you who are working to service their communities and benefit all of us through these challenging times.
We are deeply grateful to you for all the sacrifices that you and your family are making. Our community is better because you are a part of it!