Health departments address restaurant precautions during coronavirus outbreak
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. –- Health experts are covering the issue of viral spread through food and food containers as many raise concerns over contracting the coronavirus through restaurants.
Local health departments are directing restaurants to take precautions and monitor facilities to ensure the best cleanliness.
Some are still worried about delivery boxes or food containers themselves, even though there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food.
Gillian Conrad from the Berrien County Health Department says that food safety continues to be important but is not something to be highly concerned about.
"First and foremost we know there's no scientific evidence can be transmitted through our food. So it is important to know that while food safety continues to be of paramount importance there not really a risk that you could get coronavirus through your food,” Conrad said.
However, health officials believe that it can never do harm to take added precautions if you are concerned.
"People can absolutely take additional precautions by wiping down food containers, washing produce when they get it from the store as well as wiping off any containers they might be getting, take out containers or things they're bringing home from the grocery store as an added precaution,” Conrad said.
The Saint Joseph County Health Department also says they have received no reports of the virus being transmitted through food or food packaging, ‘
The department continues to keep sick restaurant workers at home, and says that good hygiene practices are still important to follow regardless of how the coronavirus is affecting the dining industry.
Frequently touched surfaces in kitchens are sanitized every four hours, and dishes and utensils are being washed at high temperatures.
The SJC Health Department says that employees should always notify restaurants if they have any symptoms and should stay home until they haven’t experienced symptoms for a period of time.