FoodMesh's Response to the Coronavirus

FoodMesh’s response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 12, 2020

Dear FoodMesh Network members and partners,

Given the recent developments and numerous questions arising from the global spread of COVID-19, we wish to share information about recent developments, and best practices for reducing risk at your organization.

Understanding the risk

We would like to stress that at this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with the virus currently set as “low for Canada”. That being said, we understand that this topic is causing members of our community increasing concern.

Health agencies have not released any information to suggest that COVID-19 is transmitted through food. According to the BC Centre for Disease Control:

“Coronavirus is transmitted via larger liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter through these droplets through the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact. The virus is not known to be airborne (e.g. transmitted through the particles floating in the air) and it is not something that comes in through the skin. It can be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough.”

Precautions we can take to prevent the spread of infection

With the above information in mind, we would like to encourage our partners and all network members to practice extra caution before and during the handling of food and food exchanges. To help prevent the spread of infection, the advice of health agencies is as follows:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

When coughing or sneezing:

  • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
  • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined wastebasket and wash your hands afterward
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach

If your operations change as a result of COVID-19

We understand that our partners and network members may be making changes to their operational practices in response to COVID-19. If these changes to your operations have an impact on your participation in FoodMesh programs, we urge you to let us know as soon as possible. We will do everything in our power to support you so you can continue your work with us.

Useful links and resources

With all the misinformation floating around, we also wanted to highlight the following resources:

Official sources on COVID-19

Helpful resources

For answers to your questions related to COVID-19, the Public Health Agency of Canada available to help you:

By phone: 1-833-784-4397
By email: phac.info.aspc@canada.ca


Thank you for your extra vigilance in keeping food, and people, safe as part of your efforts to give food a second chance.

Sincerely,

Jessica Regan
CEO and Founder, FoodMesh