Physical distancing, good personal hygiene with frequent hand washing, and application of general food hygiene measures are the most important precautions food handlers should adopt. Physical distancing is very important to help slow the spread of coronavirus. This is achieved by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals. Frequent hand washing with soap and water and use of hand sanitizers are also important in reducing the risk of transmission. All food businesses should follow the physical distancing and hand washing guidance of WHO.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission has adopted several practical guidelines on how to apply and implement best practices to ensure food hygiene (Codex General Principles of Food Hygiene, CXC 1- 1969), handle meats (Codex Code of Hygienic Practice for Meat, CXC 58 – 2005), and control viruses in foods (Guidelines for the Application of General Principles of Food Hygiene to the Control of Viruses in Food (CAC/GL 79-2012). Enhanced food safety practices at this time, such as those recommended in the Codex documents mentioned, will reduce the likelihood of contamination of foods with any pathogen and help lowering the public health burden caused by already established foodborne infections, reducing the stress on an already overburdened public health system.