As people return to the office, the health and safety of employees and visitors tops the list of concerns. Prior to the pandemic, colleagues gathered around the basket of fruit and thought nothing of it. Now, people are asking, “Is it safe to eat fresh fruit from the basket in the break room?”
The answer from the CDC is clear: According to the CDC, “There is currently no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.” The CDC offers these guidelines to protect yourself from foodborne illness.
- Wash your hands, kitchen utensils, and food preparation surfaces, including chopping boards and countertops, before and after preparing fruits and vegetables.
- Clean fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting, or cooking, unless the package says the contents have been washed.
- Wash or scrub fruits and vegetables under running water—even if you do not plan to eat the peel. Germs on the peel or skin can get inside fruits and vegetables when you cut them.
- Washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, or commercial produce wash is not recommended. Do not use bleach solutions or other disinfecting products on food.
- Cut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.
- Dry fruit or vegetables with a clean paper towel.
- You can read more here: CDC Fruit and Vegetable Safety
The CDC also notes that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. Despite these positive health benefits, few adults meet the recommendations. The CDC website suggests, “Add more fruit to your diet by grabbing a small apple or banana as your afternoon snack.”
Studies indicate that the majority of people eat an average of 2 times between meals per day. Rather than reach for a sugary drink or a candy bar from the vending machine, employees with access to fresh fruit are more likely to avoid the afternoon energy crash. Providing fresh fruit for employees encourages healthy snacking. With proper handling, eating from the community fruit basket poses no risk of contracting COVID19.