The Covid-19 pandemic changed the way we look at food and food service and safety. Practices have changed and in most cases changed for good, but not all around.
Of course there are still those out there that refuse to change with the threat of infection still quite strong out there, but for the most part, people are keeping safe when it comes to the food they eat, a recent study shows, or so on the surface it would seem so.
The aforementioned study was in the form of survey conducted by the FSA (the Food Standards Agency), and it shows people’s attitudes and practices to overall food safety across the board…in terms of ordering, cooking, etc..
According to a piece at foodsafetynews.com, between the months of April and July 2022, 6,770 adults from a varying 4,727 homes took part in the survey in question.
What did the survey show? Are people food safety conscious?
Well, as it turns out, people were a tad more concerned about food prices and not so much about food safety. In answering the question about food safety, a whopping 80% were sure that their food was safe. Food prices were a far greater concerned for the bulk of those tested in the study, which of course makes sense. These days food costs are astronomical, and we’re not exaggerating.
The study also showed that a 2/3 portion of the subjects respected expiry dates placed on their food. Other common practices like washing of fish and/or seafood items before prep was also looked into, and yes, most washed their fish before prep.
Another interesting factor that was looked at in detail was the practices centered around ordering their food…something that despite current world circumstances, has not slowed down.
The ordering of food from restaurants and the such is still big business, although in terms of safety, subjects in the study stated that they make use of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, and scores were checked before the subjects placed their respective orders.
About ordering groceries and/or prepared food items online, the same practices were shown…a leaning toward safety in terms of checking quality control parameters first.
But the question that comes up here is, why are people so willing to trust the parameters put in place to test for the aforementioned safety of their food and food delivery?
This question wasn’t answered by the study, but as far as Covid-19, there is a statement put up at Health Canada and that statement reads specifically as follows as of this writing:
"“Scientists and food safety authorities around the world are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 or its new variants being spread through food or food packaging.”via canada.ca"
But in the end, is the monitoring of hygiene rating scores and washing fish, produce and following best before guidelines enough? There have been many incidents where trusting the produce blindly has gotten society in trouble before. I.e.: E. coli in cantaloupe, romaine lettuce, the 2008 Canadian listeriosis outbreak over at Maple Leaf Foods.
People have died from these above disasters and others. So the question is, are people doing enough to protect themselves when it comes to food safety?
The numbers may be good in terms of those that follow guidelines, but can people do more? Can companies do more to ensure the safety of their consumers? In the end a little imagination goes a long way for sure and you can always do more to keep you and your families safe when it comes to your food.
Health Canada has some suggestions on that as well, despite their insistence that Covid-19 is not being spread through food delivery. Here are some:
"-Use common cleaning and disinfection methods to kill coronaviruses.-Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and food packaging.-Wash your fruits and vegetables under running water.-Cook your food to recommended safe internal temperatures. Coronaviruses are killed by normal cooking temperatures.-Disinfect any surfaces that will come in contact with food.via canada.ca (link above)"
All pretty straight-forward and simple enough, and really most have been following these guidelines throughout most of the pandemic.
How about you out there, dear readers? Any safety tips you have that you’d like to share when it comes to food?