Fitness Facts: Is sharing holiday treats safe this year?

By Liz Cook
Registered Dietitian, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic

The holidays are a time of giving, and while many of us want to share holiday treats with friends, family and co-workers, the last thing we want to do is give anyone COVID-19.

This begs the question: Is it really safe to share holiday treats this year?

According to the CDC, “Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19.”

The risk of getting COVID-19 from food is considered very low. The risk of infections from food packaging is also considered very low, and no cases of infection have been documented from food packages.

However, it is recommended to take standard precautions when preparing food for others and following basic food safety procedures. It is important to wash and sanitize your hands regularly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth while cooking.

Washing and sanitizing your kitchen, including countertops, appliances, bowls, pots, pans and any utensils you are using, is also important.

When it comes to basic food safety practices, placing any items that need to be refrigerated or frozen into the refrigerator or freezer within two hours is also key. Additionally, avoid holding foods in the “danger zone” of temperatures, which is between 41 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, helps stop the growth of potentially harmful bacteria in food.

Cooking food to appropriate temperatures also ensures any germs that may be in the food are killed and will not make you sick. To see a full list of appropriate cooking temperatures, check out the CDC Food Safety guidelines.

So how can we make sharing holidays treats even safer?

Contactless delivery is a great way to ensure safety. If you are taking food to a friend or family member, doing so without being face to face with them is best. If you can, drop it on their porch and call to let them know it is there.

This prevents the person-to-person passing of germs, which we know is the main way COVID-19 spreads. Making sure to let them know it’s there also allows them to place if in the refrigerator or freezer within the safe, two-hour window.

If you are bringing food for a group of people, it may be beneficial to individually wrap the items into single-serve portions to avoid multiple people eating from the same container in the same area without masks on.

Again, while the virus is not spread in the food, we know COVID-19 spreads person to person, so avoiding gatherings where masks will be removed to eat is the safest option.

Additionally, while there is no evidence that the virus can be spread in food or on food packaging, it is always to be better safe than sorry. So if you are feeling sick, avoid cooking for others.

Finally, remember that nutrition is self-care. Taking care of yourself should always be a priority, but it becomes even more important during stressful times. Nutrition can also give your immune system a boost, which is always a plus during flu-season, but even more important this year.

If you’re interested in how you can eat to boost your immune system, check out this article from earlier this year. Happy holidays – enjoy your treats safely this year!

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Bible Verse

(Moses addressed Israel, reminding them of God's deliverance of them from Egypt, and His commands given to them:) "You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out (from bondage and delivered you.). The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear." (Deuteronomy 7:19)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/