Washing apples

Consumers should be careful to wash their fruit and veg before eating it to avoid the spread of coronavirus, the World Health Organisation has advised.

The UN agency has also recommended people avoid using banknotes and store PIN keypads if possible, to avoid coming into contact with the virus.

“All these things would be considered ‘low risk’ of transmission, but all food must be washed before consumption, whether packaged or selected by customers,” explained the WHO’s Dr Margaret Harris.

It is unlikely the virus can be contracted by eating food, particularly if it has been heated. Studies have shown that thorough cooking is effective in killing similar viruses like Sars.

The biggest risk lies in handling fresh produce and packaged goods that have been touched, coughed on or sneezed upon by an infected person.