Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause respiratory illness. The novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. The 2019 Coronavirus is referred to as a novel coronavirus.
Signs of infection include high fever (>38ºC) together with one or more respiratory symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Previous experience with outbreaks of illness due to MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and other respiratory viruses (e.g. avian influenza) suggest that novel coronavirus may have been transmitted from animals to humans. Due to the transmission methods recorded thus far, and the relatively low environmental stability of coronaviruses, it is unlikely that imported goods such as imported foods or consumer goods may be sources of an infection with the new type of coronavirus.
Control measures for coronavirus are similar to good food hygiene practices. Everyone should practice good hygiene and other measures to protect against infections.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advises people to:
- wash hands regularly
- cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
- thoroughly cook meat and eggs
- avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing
As an added precaution, if you have suspected symptoms of respiratory illness you should avoid preparing food for other people and seek medical attention.
- ensure that staff are aware of the 2019 Coronavirus situation
- ensure that staff are trained appropriately in food hygiene
- ensure effective supervision of staff to reinforce hygienic practices
- provide the correct facilities e.g. hand washing, toilets, to enable staff to practice good hygiene
- ensure staff and contractors report any physical signs/symptoms, before commencing work or while in the workplace.
- keep vigilant and ensure that staff are not ill and are fit to work
The EHAI is the representative body for EHOs and the EHAI Food Safety course has been written and designed by EHOs. It demonstrates how HACCP can practically applied in a food business to produce safe food and how the food business can be protected from damaging publicity.
Don’t delay, safeguard your business today. Book an upcoming course or contact an EHAI approved trainer today.