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Don’t Fear Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Amid COVID-19

woman wearing mask while produce shopping

As businesses make plans to reopen their offices, there may be questions about how to safely provide fresh fruit for employees in the break room. Fresh fruit is part of a healthy diet and is packed with nutrients that promote a strong immune system.

According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, transmitted through person-to-person contact and through direct contact with respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The WHO website states, "Coronaviruses cannot multiply in food – they need a live animal or human host to multiply and survive." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees, stating “Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19.”

It’s vitally important that people continue to consume fresh fruit and vegetables because they provide essential vitamins and nutrients that are necessary to stay healthy and prevent illness. Fruits like kiwi, citrus, and berries are all high in Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant and proven to play a role in immune function, which helps our bodies prevent numerous health conditions.

Offering your employees packaged foods may seem like a good way to prevent COVID-19 from spreading within the office setting, but it's important to read labels. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, ultra-processed foods often widely contain ingredients like added sugar, sodium and saturated fats, which are linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. If you're looking for healthier shelf-stable snacks for your employees, consider dried fruit and nut snacks without added sugar or preservatives, like Fruit For Thought snacks.

All this being said, produce can still harbor bacteria, so you should always wash fresh fruits and vegetables before consumption. Encourage employees to wash their hands for 20 seconds before and after handling food, and scrub fruits and vegetables (even those with a peel you do not eat), in clean water without soap.

We hope with these tips, your offices and customers can continue to stay safe and healthy. We look forward to continuing to provide you with nourishing, nutrient-dense fruits and healthy snacks.