Food-safety expert Ben Chapman of North Carolina State University (go Wolfpack!) shares his tips for avoiding coronavirus and other foodborne pathogens in this great interview by Rebecca Jennings on Vox.
Bottom line: smart behavior may not feel like much, but it’s the best approach. You don’t need to sanitize your Doritos. (Sorry, William Gibson. You’re an awesome sci-fi writer but are overzealous here.)
Dr. Chapman says the trick is to:
- Wash your hands
- Stay home
- Use contactless delivery and tip generously
- If you do go to a store, wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from other people
- Follow good food-handling practices: clean hands, clean surfaces, safe temperatures
Key quotes from Dr. Ben Chapman
- The impact of not being a jerk to the people in the long chain of how your food ends up in your kitchen is much more significant than the potential threat of you getting the coronavirus from a box of cereal.
- If I can order a pizza and someone drops it off on my doorstep, and then sends me a text and says it’s here and we don’t have to talk to each other, that’s great.
- We see about 48 million cases of foodborne illness a year. That’s 3,000 deaths, 125,000 hospitalizations. . . . If we are able to impact food safety a little bit with adding some more hand-washing and using thermometers, that would really reduce those illnesses.
For more information
- Dr. Chapman’s BarfBlog: Food Safety from Farm to Fork. Thanks for the post on Don’t Eat Dogs: China Finally Agrees.
- CDC’s Fruit and Vegetable Safety Tips