South African COVID-19 Resource Portal – sacoronavirus.co.za

An Advice for Food Workers infographic is available for download in both an A3 poster and 2-page information sheet format. The infographic outlines Coronavirus symptoms, how to avoid catching or spreading the virus, how it is spread, what to do if you suspect you have the virus, and what food workers can do in their workplace.

A new virus, the “novel coronavirus” or SARS-CoV-2 is causing a global respiratory disease pandemic, called Covid-19. Frequently Asked Questions are listed containing verified answers based on latest scientific information. This includes information on whether the disease is foodborne.  A number of myths are debunked and regular updates are made.

There are many foods which are termed “shelf stable”. These foods can last for years and “best before” labelling is quite irrelevant to such products as it has nothing to do with food safety, but rather food quality. Hence, perfectly safe food is often discarded because the perception is created that the food is no longer safe for human consumption, which is not the case.

South Africa is experiencing regular load shedding. The duration and frequency of load shedding will potentially affect the safety of food in a refrigerator. Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power is out for no more than 4 hours, the refrigerator door is kept shut AND the fridge was running at 4 °C at the time of load shedding. Perishable foods are the most susceptible to spoilage and food safety concerns.

There is a current recall on a number or canned pilchard varieties produced by West Point Processors due to canning defects.  The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) is also involved in the recall.