With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading like a wildfire all over the globe, infecting more than millions of people and the death toll reaching more than a lakh, there are various myths and misconceptions doing rounds daily, often triggering the panic button.
Since, it is strongly believed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for causing this deadly pandemic has originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China, many staunch non-vegetarians too turned to be strict vegetarians in the last couple of months.
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Added to this, scientists reveal that the virus is zoonotic in nature, which means it can cause animals to humans and vice-versa.
Coronavirus disease is, in fact, a respiratory infection that is transmitted through tiny air droplets containing the virus from an infected person to others through the nose and mouth while coughing and sneezing. Also Read: Coronavirus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Can Coronavirus Spread Through Non-Veg Food?
So, far there is no clear evidence supported by WHO to prove that the novel strain of the SARS-Cov-2 virus lives on chicken, eggs, meat, or seafood and can make non-vegetarian food unsafe for consumption.
The SARS-CoV-2 viruses in fact need a host to grow and as far as food is concerned, currently, there is no evidence that food can be a route of transmission of the infection.
In a recent press conference, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Director Prof Randeep Guleria categorically stated that consumption of non-vegetarian foods or eggs does not cause infection. He further said that as a preventive measure meat should be thoroughly washed and cooked at the right temperature. Also Read: Coronavirus: Popular Myths Debunked & Facts You Should Know
The Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) too had advised following certain precautionary measures: Before handling or eating food it is important to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, as a part of general food safety.
- Remember to handle and prepare food safely.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Store raw meat separately from other perishable foods in the refrigerator to avoid harmful microbes from raw foods spreading to cooked foods.
- Never consume raw or undercooked meat products.
- It is very important to wash the meat thoroughly and cook at high temperatures, as this helps to kill the harmful germs.
- Use different chopping boards for raw and cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination.
- Meat cooked at home and the right temperature is safe to be consumed.
- In case, if you are ordering food from outside, make sure it is prepared under proper hygienic conditions.
- Make sure to buy the eggs, poultry, fish from a trusted local vendor. Enquire where they have acquired it from.
Healthy Eating Guidelines
Currently, there is no evidence to prove that any particular food or diet pattern can prevent or treat COVID-19. It is well-known that eating a healthy and balanced diet including a rich array of fruits and vegetables, staying physically active, getting proper sleep and keeping stress at bay are some of the lifestyle modifications that one has to practice to build and strengthen your immune system to combat deadly coronavirus disease.
A healthy diet is a cornerstone for promoting a good standard of life, this is specifically important during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Plan your diet regimen comprising of fruits, vegetables whole grains, legumes and nuts. Include moderate amounts of dairy foods, poultry, eggs and fish. Restrict intake of processed meat, refined carbs and sugar.
Eating a high-quality diet including protein, fat and carbohydrate can help you to maintain a healthy weight and a good metabolic state.
Noteworthy amounts of essential minerals and vitamins provided by the diet regimen facilitate to enhance the immune response and antibodies, which are vital as the body has to combat infections.