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Among concern for the health of our families and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak is the question of food safety. Alabama Extension food safety and quality professionals offer science-based information and share recommendations on how COVID-19 affects food safety and how manufacturers and retailers should respond to the crisis.

The Environmental Protection Agency provides a list of products that meet its criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus. Some of these products may be appropriate for food contact surfaces, but read the label closely to make sure.

Knowledge of what the virus is and how it is controlled can improve confidence and reduce fears. The United States Department of Agriculture states, “Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product and that the same sanitation procedures that should already be in place at food establishments to protect food safety will also help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers guidance documents for preparing work places for COVID-19 and for cleaning and disinfecting.

If you have questions, contact Dani Reams or Christy Mendoza, regional Extension agents in Food Safety and Quality.

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