Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has updated its COVID-19 information page and resources for food businesses.
Visit the page here.
FSANZ said transmission through food is unlikely and so far there is no evidence that people have become infected by swallowing the virus in or on food or drink. It said the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released a statement saying that food is not a likely source or route of transmission of the virus.
Safe Work Australia has industry specific information, its food processing and manufacturing fact sheet can be downloaded here.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued precautionary recommendations including advice on good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, they include:
- washing hands before handling food, and between handling raw and cooked foods
- thorough cooking and proper handling of meat products
- covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
- avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing.
WHO also provides guidance on how to prevent the virus being transmitted in the workplace and proper sanitising practices. Its basic protective measures list is here.
Its guidelines on preparing the workplace for the virus are here.
FSANZ health and hygiene advice for food businesses is here. Its advice on reducing risks are:
- only food handlers should be in food preparation or packing areas;
- if other people (like tradespeople) need to be in these areas supervise them to make sure they don’t touch, sneeze etc over food or surfaces;
- if a food handler has an illness that could be passed on through food, don’t let them handle food or food surfaces. They should only handle food once a doctor has confirmed they are well enough;
- make sure your food handlers cover open sores and don’t have a runny nose etc.;
- educate your team about their health and hygiene responsibilities e.g. with posters, leaflets or training videos;
- provide convenient hand wash basins:
- that are only used for washing hands, arms and faces (e.g. not kitchen sink),
- with warm running water* and soap, and
- with single-use towels (or similar);
- provide convenient toilets;
- provide storage space for personal belongings; and
- discourage smoking and spitting by using signs and not providing ashtrays in food preparation areas.
Its advice for food handlers is here.
NSW Health has a range of resources that can be printed and distributed in the workplace.