Safe Handling Practices forFresh Produce in a Time ofCoronavirus Disease 2019(COVID-19)Presentation for East Bay Urban Farm NetworkJennifer SowerwineCooperative Extension Specialist,UC ANR/UC BerkeleyMarch 17, 2020
Safe Handling Practices for Fresh Produce in aTime of Coronavirus Disease 191. What is understood about Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19).2. Best practices on the farm to minimize risk of exposure and spread1. Practice Good Health and Hygiene2. Clean and Sanitize Surfaces
What is Understood about COVID-19 Information is evolving but its clear. Social distancing is critical. Need to “flatten the curve” Virus can be passed even without symptoms. Can last up to 37 days in people. Can last on cardboard, plastic and stainless steel. Can remain on cardboard for up to 24 hours Can remain on plastic and stainless steel for 2-3 days. Can remain as aerosol up to 3 hours.References: Preprint: medRxiv preprint doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.09.20033217. ay-or-people-will-dief4d3d9cd99ca
Shelter in Place Order from Alameda/Contra CostaCounty PHD - Can our farm stand stay open? For the purposes of this Order, “Essential Businesses” may remain open including: Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets,food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale ofcanned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, andpoultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal careproducts). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non- groceryproducts, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essentialoperation of residences; Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing; Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life foreconomically disadvantaged or otherwise needy costahealth.org
What are Some Community Food Resources? City of Berkeley: Berkeley Food Network, is an extra food resource if you are aBerkeley or Albany resident. BFN has an onsite pantry located at 1925 9th St. Open Monday-Thursday 10 AM-2 PM, Monday & Wednesday 5 PM-7 PM, & 1ST & 3RD Saturdays 10AM-12PM Berkeley Food Pantry on Mon, Wed, and Fri afternoons at 1600 Sacramento: Findmore information at their website here. Alameda County: Foodnow.net Contra Costa & Solano County: Find Food In My City SF & Marin County: Find Food
Best Practices on the Farm toMinimize Risk of Exposure andSpreadPractice Good HygieneClean and Sanitize Surfaces
Practice Good Health and Hygiene
Avoid Handling Produce When You are Sick!Runny NoseCough, sneezeThe average sneeze travels up to 8 feet!Assign workers other duties while they are sick or send them home
Food Safety Best Practices (Reminder) Take shower and wear clean clothes daily Wear clean, un-ripped gloves (nitrile are best) Take off gloves before using toilet & eating lunch Wash hands for 20 seconds after using toilet andbefore returning to work Do not eat, chew gum, smoke, use tobacco, spit,while in growing/processing/food handling area Use toilet and handwashing facilities regularly andproperly. Keep clean, cut nails and remove rings. Avoid using product containers for personal use.
Best Hygiene Practices During Covid-19 Stay home if you are feeling unwell, showing, or have been in direct contact with someone showing COVID-19symptoms. Members of high risk populations (i.e. older adults, or people who have serious chronic medical conditions like:heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) should not attend farmers’ markets. Limit close contact, like hugging, kissing and sharing cups or utensils. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; beforeeating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Alwayswash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use yoursleeve (not your hands).
Wash, Not WipeHand sanitizer must be 60% alcohol.Hand washing is best
Provide Worker Hygiene Training All employees Temporary workers Relatives who help Wife, husband, children Volunteers Visitors/U-Pick customers EVERYBODY!
Best Farm-Stand Practices (CDC/NC State) Consider putting fully stocked handwashing station at entrance to market/farm stand. Provide hand sanitizer at info booth for customers, vendors and the public. Cease food sampling at market; encourage activities such as pre-bagging to expedite purchasing Use non-porous tables that can be easily cleaned and sanitized. Think about high touch surfaces and disinfect surfaces including table-tops, door-knobs, regularly. Institute new precautionary procedures for market staff, including those handling money andother currencies. Increase the frequency that market staff disinfect market surfaces/objects; Suspend high touch activities at the market; Vendors should ideally hand sanitize after every transaction and could consider wearing iles/dgvnsk7366/files/files/page/Farmers%20Market COVID-19 031520.pdf
Gloves Can Provide a False Sense of Security
Provide Clean Potable Drinking Water Clean drinking water is availablealways and water sourcedocumented. Single use cups, or designatedpersonal water bottles
Post Signs that Reinforce Good Hygiene inField and Packing Area
Create Separate Area for Personal Use Eating Breaks Smoking Storage of personal itemsTo avoid cross contamination in field andpacking area!
Provide Clean Field Sanitation Units Toilets & handwashing facilitiesare provided with TP, single usetowels and garbage can with lid. Wash hands after EVERY use oftoilet & apply new gloves ifusing. Everyone follows these rules. Clean and sanitize fieldsanitation units daily.
Can be home-made (see photoand link to UCANR video tutorial. Increase number of handwashingstations including 1 next to toilet. Water for washing is drinkingwater quality. Soap, paper towel and trash canwith lid required. Dispose of waste-water away fromfields. Handwashing container, faucet iscleaned and sanitized daily. Cleaning and resupply record areRed arrows point to high touch points that should be sanitizedmaintained.Water can carry virus and other pathogens, dispose of away from field
Clean and Sanitize Surfaces
Clean All High Touch Surfaces Every Day Clean and disinfect: Practice routine cleaning of high touch surfaces.High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, refrigeratorhandle, bathroom fixtures, toilets, light switches, phones, keyboards, tablets,harvest buckets & trays. Disinfect areas with bodily fluids: Also, clean any surfaces that mayhave blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Household cleaners: Use a household cleaning spray or wipe,according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safeand effective use of the cleaning product including precautions youshould take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves andmaking sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
How to Disinfect/Sanitize If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent andwater prior to disinfection. For disinfection, a list of products withEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved emerging viralpathogens claims, maintained by the American Chemistry CouncilCenter for Biocide Chemistries (CBC), is available at Novel Coronavirus(COVID-19) Fighting Productspdf iconexternal icon. Always follow themanufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. s-FightingProducts-List.pdf disinfectants-useagainst-sars-cov-2
How to Disinfect/Sanitize(Rutgers: virus-your-home) Whatever cleaning solution you use, let it remain in contact with thesurface long enough to kill viruses and other pathogens. The timeneeded will depend on the chemical. Don’t use different cleaning agents at the same time. Somehousehold chemicals, if mixed, can create dangerous and poisonousgases. For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutionswith at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registeredhousehold disinfectants should be effective.
Cleaning Products That Destroy CoronavirusCDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/Consumer Reports: / Soap and Water: Good old fashioned solution is the best for hands. Bleach: Prepare a bleach solution (sodium hypochlorite) by mixing: 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water Wear gloves while using bleach, and never mix it with ammonia or anything, in fact,except water. Isopropyl alcohol: Alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol areeffective against coronavirus. Do not dilute the alcohol solution. Hydrogen peroxide is typically sold in concentrations of about 3%. It can beused as is, or diluted to 0.5% concentration for effective use againstcoronaviruses on surfaces. It should be left on surfaces for one minutebefore wiping.
What Not to Use Against Coronavirus- Consumer Reports: / Home made hand sanitizer: Concern over right proportions; may givefalse sense of security. Vodka: 80-proof product does not contain enough ethyl alcohol (40percent compared with the 70 percent required) to kill thecoronavirus. Vinegar, tea tree oil and other natural products are notrecommended for fighting coronaviruses. A study on influenza virusfound that cleaning with a 10% solution of malt vinegar was effective,but few other studies have found vinegar to be able to kill asignificant fraction of viruses or other microbes. (Rutgers)
Safe Handling of Fruits andVegetables
Can the Virus be Transmitted Through Food? There is currently no evidence to date that the SARS-CoV-2 is spread through food. Coronaviruses cannot grow (multiply) in food – they need a host (animal or human) for this tohappen. Coronaviruses spread most commonly people to people or animal to people via droplet spread bya sneeze or cough. If droplets contact mucus membrane (mouth, nose, eyes) of another personeither directly or indirectly (by touching a contaminated surface) it can lead to infection. Research with similar viruses (SARS) has demonstrated that typical cooking temperatures (30minutes at 140 ) will kill the virus in foods. Bottom line: Cooking food and observing good hygiene practices when handling and preparingfood are effective at preventing contamination of the novel Coronavirus. Erin DiCaprio, UCANR. 2020: g0k7cKRdF4oNWuiJTFYi51b7Vi
Safe Handling of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Clean sink with hot, soapy water or cleanser before and after washingand preparing fresh fruits and vegetables. Always wash cutting boards and preparation areas before and afterfood preparation. Sanitize cutting boards and food preparation areas Pour boiling water over the clean wood or plastic cutting boards for 20seconds. Rinse clean wood and plastic cutting boards with a solution of 1 teaspoonchlorine bleach in 1 quart (4 cups) of water. Place plastic cutting boards in the dishwasher and run, using normal cleaningcycle.
Safe Handling of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Always wash hands with hot, soapy water for at least 20 secondsbefore and after handling fresh fruits and vegetables. Always wash fruits and vegetables, including those that areorganically grown, come from a farmer’s market, or were grown inyour own garden. Wash fruits and vegetables just before cooking or eating. Do not use antibacterial soaps or dish detergents to wash fruits andvegetables because soap or detergent residues can remain on theproduce. The FDA has not evaluated the safety of the residues thatcould be left from soaps and detergents.
Safe Handling of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Soaking fruits and vegetables in water is not recommended becauseof the potential for cross-contamination. Remove outer green leaves from items like lettuce or cauliflowerbefore washing. Trim the hull or stem from items like tomatoes, strawberries, andpeppers after washing. Research shows that cooking food for 30 minutes at 140 degrees killsthe SARS coronavirus.
Summary Practice social distancing and stay home if you are sick. Consider developing a cleaning and sanitizing checklist (if youdon’t have one yet) Wash hands (for 20 seconds) more frequently. Clean and sanitize all surfaces more frequently: restroom,handwashing stations, produce sinks, tabletops, harvest bins. Provide Training to all volunteers/workers in: Good health and hygiene practices Handwashing Cleaning and disinfecting Put up signage for handwashing instructions
Where to Find More Information About COVID-19.Further information about COVID-19 including transmission, prevention andcurrent status of the outbreak is available from multiple sources: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) California Department of Public Health (www.cdph.ca.gov) World Health Organization (WHO) (www.who.int)WHO Situation Reports (CO