South Africa: Risks and Rotisserie Chicken - How Safe Is Our Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Established in a City of Cape Town-owned community sports centre, the Khayelitsha Field Hospital will function as an extension of the adjacent Khayelitsha District Hospital, essentially expanding its capacity to treat moderate to severe COVID-19 cases.

Microbiologist and food safety expert, Professor Lucia Anelich tackled a few of our burning questions on how best to keep Covid-19 at bay when buying and consuming food.

"We have no evidence that this virus is transmitted via food, or indeed food packaging," said Professor Lucia Anelich. This was the first burning question she addressed during a webinar hosted by Maverick Citizen senior journalist Estelle Ellis on whether Covid-19 is a food safety threat.

"(The virus) might be present, but (food) doesn't transmit the virus, mainly because the virus is a respiratory illness. We don't have any evidence that the virus can be absorbed by the digestive tract," she added.

But the science surrounding Covid-19 and its transmission is not yet definitive. According to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) guidance for food safety businesses: "Current evidence indicates that the Covid-19 virus is transmitted during close contact through respiratory droplets (formed by coughing or sneezing), and when heavy droplets land on objects and surfaces surrounding the infected person."

Regarding surfaces (for instance packaging): "It is possible that someone may become infected by touching a contaminated surface, object, or the hand of an infected person and then touching their own mouth, nose,...

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