It is easy for floods to cause food spoilage and death of large numbers of livestock, which may lead to contamination of water sources and food. Here are some health tips for consumers and employees in the food industry during flood seasons and the COVID-19 epidemic.
I. General requirements for consumers to ensure food safety
1. Keep hands clean.
Wash hands before meals and after using the toilet. Wash hands frequently during food preparation.
Food preparation sites and equipment should be kept clean. Food preparation and storage sites should be protected from flies, insects and rodents.
2. Separate raw and cooked foods.
Raw and cooked ingredients should be kept separate. Special cutting boards, knives and other kitchen utensils should be used to handle raw meat and aquatic products. Wash processed ingredients and hands after getting the ingredients ready.
Use packaging bags and utensils to store food to avoid contact between raw and cooked foods, and store them in different layers of the refrigerator.
Do not rinse raw meat products directly under the faucet to prevent splash contamination.
3. Cook food thoroughly.
Make sure food is thoroughly cooked, especially meat, eggs and aquatic products. Leftovers that are sure to be unspoiled should be thoroughly reheated before eating.
4. Keep food at a safe temperature.
High temperature in summers and autumns can easily lead to accelerated spoilage of food. It is recommended to prepare food in small quantities for immediate consumption. Leftovers should be avoided if possible and should be refrigerated immediately. They should not be kept in the refrigerator for a long time.
Frozen food can be defrosted in a microwave oven or at low temperature in the refrigerator.
5. Use safe water and raw materials.
Don't eat moldy and rotten grains, poultry and livestock whose cause of death is unknown or food of unknown origin. Drink clean drinking water.
Use clean water to wash and process food and clean cooking utensils and tableware.
II. Food safety precautions after floods
During floods, in addition to the general requirements for food safety, special attention should be paid to the following:
1. After flood disasters, quickly clean and disinfect any flooded kitchen areas and kitchen utensils.
2. After flood disasters, do not eat food, meat and poultry, fruits and vegetables or other foods that have become moldy and rotten after soaking in flood waters.
3. Do not drink raw water. Raw water must be boiled before drinking.
III. Tips for consumers at agricultural produce markets
1. Wear a mask correctly and do personal protection.
2. Try not to go shopping in crowded places and keep a safe distance.
3. Buy fresh food.
4. Avoid touching the mouth, eyes, and nose with unclean hands.
5. Cooked foods that have not been packaged should be reheated before eating.
IV. Precautions for food industry employees to prevent food from COVID-19 contamination
In order to prevent food from being contaminated by the novel coronavirus:
1. It is particularly emphasized that food industry employees should strictly follow the relevant operation regulations and requirements and thoroughly sanitize and disinfect all food production, processing and sales environments and facilities.
2. Employees should strengthen self-health monitoring. Once symptoms such as fever, cough, and fatigue appear, they must immediately leave their posts for medical treatment and report the situation. Employees should not work with illnesses.
3. For staff in key places such as public canteens and restaurants, in addition to wearing necessary overalls (caps) and masks during work, they must also wash hands frequently (before touching food, processing food and touching other items during food processing, and after using bathrooms).
4. It is required to clean and immediately disinfect the surface of public contact items (such as faucets, door handles, refrigerators and freezers, and various electrical switch buttons), keep contact surfaces, knives, cutting boards and other processing utensils and containers in the food processing room clean and dry, and clean up kitchen waste as soon as it is produced.
Employees in agricultural produce markets should avoid leaving containers for ready-to-eat bulk food open to the air for a long time.