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Top tips for safe food consumption during epidemic and winter

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: 2020-12-14 Print

Recently, various cities in China have detected the novel coronavirus on imported frozen food and the food's packaging. To address this situation, the Administration for Market Regulation of Guizhou Province offered tips on the consumption of imported frozen food and the prevention of food poisoning during winter.

1. Is frozen food safe to eat after being disinfected?

Disinfection of frozen food's packaging can prevent the risk of infection during circulation. So far, there are no infection cases caused by eating frozen food. Disinfection aims to inactivate the virus instead of destroying its nucleic acids, so it's normal to achieve positive results during nucleic acid detection.

2. How can consumers disinfect themselves after touching imported frozen food?

Consumers must wash their hands immediately and adequately after touching imported frozen foods and use hand disinfectant as an extra precaution.

Kitchen utensils such as knives and chopping blocks should be washed quickly after coming into contact with imported frozen foods. Splashing water during the washing process should be avoided.

Cooking utensils can also be boiled or soaked in 60 C water and sprayed with 75-percent-alcohol disinfectant or chlorine-containing disinfectant.

Garbage and waste from imported frozen foods should be collected and disposed of properly in the correct garbage area.

3. What foods can cause food poisoning cases in winter? What preventative steps can consumers take?

The five critical points for preventing food poisoning recommended by World Health Care are to stay clean, use safe water and cooking materials, separate raw and cooked food, cook thoroughly and keep the food at a safe temperature.

Winter is the peak season of norovirus infection, and outbreaks usually occur in schools, kindergartens or tourist areas. The illness spreads through respiratory droplets and contaminated food and water.

To prevent norovirus, people should wash their hands with soap before meals and after defecation, eat clean vegetables and food and avoid shellfish and unboiled water.

Schools and kindergartens should enhance the safety management of drinking water and food. They should also disinfect public areas such as classrooms, canteens and toilets, and key areas such as doorknobs, water taps, stair railings, elevator buttons and toilet flush buttons.

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