As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the international food industry faces a multitude of new challenges. We are challenged by a new economic environment, we are challenged by rapidly changing patterns of supply and demand and we desperately want to keep our workers safe, while continuing to feed the people of the world. Food Fraud Advisors wishes everyone well in these interesting times, and provides a collection of resources that we hope you will find helpful.
Cleaning and sanitising chemicals
At the time of writing, there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmissible via food. This means that within a food business, surfaces that are in contact with FOOD (not surfaces that are contacted by people), can continue to be cleaned and sanitised using normal food industry best practices. Surfaces that are contacted by people will need to be cleaned and decontaminated more frequently to protect workers and customers. This recently published scholarly article provides good guidance about disinfectants that work well and those which don’t work so well for inactivating the novel coronavirus.
Inactivation of human coronaviruses with disinfectant agents
Kampf. G (2020), Potential role of inanimate surfaces for the spread of coronaviruses and their inactivation with disinfectant agents: “In a recent review on the persistence of human and veterinary coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces it was shown that human coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus or endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV) can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days. Some disinfectant agents effectively reduce coronavirus infectivity within 1 minute such 62%–71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite. Other compounds such as 0.05%–0.2% benzalkonium chloride or 0.02% chlorhexidine digluconate are less effective.
Find useful information about risk assessments, contingency planning for production and hand washing, among other things, in this comprehensive article by Food Quality and Safety Magazine:
Contingency Planning and Pandemic Preparedness Checklist
The USA Food Industry Association (FMI) has curated a huge volume of useful resources on their website, including a pandemic preparedness checklist. Find these resources here:
Keeping your workers safe
Intertek Alchemy have created a free video training course for front line food manufacturing workers to ensure they know how to:
• Mitigate the spread of the coronavirus
• Recognize symptoms and protect ourselves from respiratory illnesses
• Prevent transmission to others
Learn new skills from home
Our online, on-demand training courses have helped thousands of food safety professionals learn about the risks posed by food fraud, and how to mitigate those risks. Learn at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home. If you or your company are short of cash right now, write to us for a hefty 50% discount on our courses.