Yes, it’s safe to eat fresh fruits and veggies!

The new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. Exposure to contaminated food is NOT a way the new virus is known to spread, which is mainly spread directly from person-to-person. This is in contrast to food-borne illnesses (sometimes referred to as food poisoning), which is caused from eating contaminated or improperly cooked food and typically causes diarrhea or vomiting.

Still, it is a good idea to follow these food safety tips from the FDA when preparing and serving fresh fruits and vegetables: 

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before preparing food.

  • Be sure to clean your cutting boards, dishes, knives, and counters with hot soapy water before and after preparing food.

  • Dry kitchen surfaces with a clean cloth after washing it. Launder your kitchen towels often in the hot cycle.

  • Rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water. You should do this even if you do not plan to eat the skin. 

  • Scrub firm produce (like a melon or cucumber) with a clean produce brush. 

  • After washing, dry produce with a clean towel.

  • As a general rule, separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils used for produce from those used for meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. This helps avoid any cross-contamination.

  • Store perishable produce in a clean refrigerator at a temperature of 40° F or below, especially those fruits and veggies that are pre-cut or packaged.

As always, remember to wash or sanitize your hands before eating. 

Scientific Review: GSN, JAB, JSS

Last updated: March 23, 2020 5:00pm ET