You Asked It!

Tag: COVID-19

COVID-19 and Surfaces

Wash hands for 20 seconds

When COVID-19 started in the U.S., there were concerns that the virus could be transmitted via surfaces and packaging. This caused consumers to buy cleaning supplies like never before and not using cleaners as directed.

As time has passed, the evidence supports that transmission of COVID-19 is primarily through respiratory droplets in the air. Therefore, the use of masks, handwashing, and keeping at least six feet distance from each other is key.

For surfaces or packaging to be a problem, there has to be a unique set of events to occur. First, a large amount of the virus would have to be present. Then, it would need to survive long enough to result in spread. Finally, without washing your hands, you would have to touch your face.

The few studies done on this issue involved the use of high amounts of the virus, much more than what happens in a real world situation. And, while it proved the virus can stay alive on surfaces, it did not prove transmission.

Excess or incorrect usage of disinfectants can cause skin irritation and respiratory health issues, especially for those with asthma.

Bottom line, wear your mask, keep your distance, and wash your hands. Do your part!



Halloween and COVID-19

Have a family friendly Halloween to keep everyone safe!

Do you get lots of trick-or-treaters for Halloween? This year might be a little different. Is it safe for kids to take candy from strangers during a pandemic?

First and foremost, follow your community guidelines. Know the keys to keep healthy, avoid crowds, wash your hands, wear a face covering.  The look of face coverings may be quite creative this Halloween! Even if you are outside, you may still be around a lot of other goblins, so wear those masks. Small groups are better than large groups.

Designate one person to hand out treats that are individually wrapped. Don’t let the goblins dig into the bowl. Have hand sanitizer available for anyone to use.

Host a trunk-or-treat event and put extra space between cars to thin out the crowd. A Halloween drive-by parade in the neighborhood could be a spooky treat!

There is no need to wipe down the treat packaging. After trick-or-treating, wash your hands before snacking on those treats.

Above all, have fun and be safe!


Our Health and Food Behaviors During COVID-19

Healthfulness is a strong purchasing driver today compared to last 10 years.

As the saying goes, timing is everything. The 2020 International Food Information Council Food & Health Survey was conducted in April 2020, right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, that backdrop must be considered when looking at the results. Yes, consumer beliefs and actions have made a major shift. The question is, will those changes remain?

It’s not surprising that cooking at home is the biggest change for 8 in 10 Americans. Along with that, they are snacking more, washing fruits and vegetables more, and just giving more thought to food choices.

Going to the grocery store has decreased since consumers make fewer trips to the store each week.  Online grocery shopping has gone up.

Food safety concerns about food have increased and more than a third of consumers avoid some foods and beverages. Keep in mind, COVID-19 has not been found to spread through food or food packaging. Consumers are more concerned about food safety when grocery shopping online.

In spite of all the challenges with COVID-19, 67% of respondents are at least somewhat confident in the overall safety of the food supply.

Download the entire report at

Farmers Markets, Food Safety, and COVID-19

COVID-19 is the official name of this new virus. The ‘CO ‘stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. The ‘19’ is for year 2019.

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. It is a respiratory disease transmitted from person-to-person.

Currently, there is no evidence that food transmits COVID-19. What is important is to use safe food handling practices, most importantly, washing your hands frequently and cleaning surfaces with soap and water, then disinfectant.

It is almost farmers market season. Whether or not a market will be open near you depends on the decisions of local leaders. The sale of food and food products is considered an essential function.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture offers guidance for those markets that will be open. The primary concern is the safety of customers, farmers and staff.

Social distancing must be a priority. No unpackaged foods can be offered for self service. Keep hands as clean as possible by using a portable handwashing station or hand sanitizer. Clean surfaces and frequently touched areas often. Anyone, including customers, with signs of illness must stay home.

For more information on food safety related to COVID-19, see


How Safe is Grocery Shopping?

Plan ahead! Shop your kitchen first. Make a list to make your shopping trip efficient.

We have to give grocery stores a lot of credit for going above and beyond to keep their doors open these days. So, while they do their part to keep food safe, we must do the same.

Do you need to let groceries sit in the garage for a few days after bringing them home? This can have some other serious food safety implications for perishable foods such as milk and meat. There is some indication that COVID-19 can inactivate at room temperature. But all groceries would have to be contaminated to be an issue. Simply wash your hands after shopping, put away groceries safely, then wash your hands again.

Cleaning food packages or washing fresh produce with soap is not recommended. Fresh produce can be safely washed and scrubbed in plain water. After handling packages, simply wash your hands again before food preparation.

Reusable bags are not recommended for use in some stores. Wash these bags often to keep them clean. Throw away plastic bags.



Guidance for Face Masks

Some really creative versions of face masks are appearing everywhere to protect each other from COVID-19. Here are some resources to guide you in your choice of face mask for you and your family.