The entire world is in the grip of COVID-19 pandemic, with the disease spreading like a wildfire infecting more than millions of people and the death toll increasing day by day. People are still uncertain and worried a lot whether eating non-vegetarian foods like chicken or meat would increase their risk of contracting coronavirus. This, in fact, had made many people switch over to vegetarian diets and people are also looking out for vegetarian meat alternatives.
Coronavirus disease is a respiratory infection transmitted via tiny air droplets containing the virus from an infected person to others through the nose and mouth while coughing and sneezing. However, the World Health organization have revealed that there is no clear cut evidence to prove that the SARS-CoV-2 virus lives on chicken, eggs, meat or seafood.
The epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak is the wet market in Wuhan, China that it does not mean that you have to forgo eating non-vegetarian or dairy products. As foodborne contact with this virus is still not known to be the cause of transmission.
The coronavirus needs a host to grow and cannot thrive on food and currently, there is no evidence that food could also be a cause of infection. Thus eating non-vegetarian is considered to be safe.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in a recent press release had clarified that eating non-vegetarian food items will not cause coronavirus. Furthermore, the ICMR also stated that novel coronavirus does not spread via any specific food and people can safely consume chicken and other non-vegetarian foods cooked well at the right temperature.
Follow these preventive measures while handling non-vegetarian food such as:
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling or eating foods for 20 seconds with clean water and soap, as part of food safety.
Always prepare and handle food safely.
Wash completely non-vegetarian foods and vegetables and fruit in running water before cooking.
It is important to store raw meat produce separately from other perishable foods in the fridge to prevent the spreading of harmful germs from raw to cooked foods.
Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat products.
Cook meat at high temperature as this helps to kill the disease-causing germs.
Wash the utensils and kitchen surfaces after handling meat with hot soapy water after each use.
Use separate cutting boards for chopping raw and cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination.
Chicken, meat and seafood cooked at home and at the right temperature are safe to be consumed.
Routine cleaning and disinfecting the frequently used touched surface such as kitchen tabletop and cabinets is also essential to kill the germs.