PMA A-NZ reaffirms fruit and vegetables are safe

Media Release

27 March, 2020

There is an increasing amount of misinformation being circulated in the media and social media regarding the role of food in the potential transmission of the COVID- 19 virus. The misinformation can be detrimental and misleading to both consumers and the fresh produce industry. PMA A-NZ reinforces the message from the World Health Organisation that fresh produce is safe and consumption of fruit and vegetables is encouraged during this time.

Consumers can be reassured that food authorities globally are providing advice that food is not a vehicle for the transmission of this virus. There is no evidence that illness caused by respiratory viruses can be transmitted via contaminated food at this stage.

“Aside from avoiding person-to-person transmission and contact with ill individuals, keeping yourself safe involves practicing good hygiene and promoting physical distancing and self- isolation”, says Deon Mahoney, Head of Food Safety at PMA A-NZ.

“In the home, wash your hands correctly before preparing food and also before eating. Wash your fresh fruit and vegetables thoroughly, but don’t use soap or detergents – they are not formulated for food.”

Remember, fresh fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and promote good nutrition and physical wellbeing. Healthy eating is crucial at this time.

PMA A-NZ would like to remind consumers to not be deceived by harmful misinformation and to always seek reputable sources of advice. It is recommended to not overestimate the risk and don’t follow risky advice about food in an attempt to mitigate an already very small risk.

Source: PMA A-NZ.

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