Australia - retail

Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) has released advice for consumers shopping for fruit and vegetables during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The move comes after what it described as “varying reports” in the media about the potential transmission of the virus.

“PMA A-NZ wanted to assure consumers of the message from the World Health Organization that fresh produce is safe and the consumption of fruit and vegetables is encouraged during this time,” according to a release from PMA A-NZ.

Deon Mahoney, head of food safety at PMA A-NZ, said it was important for consumers to be deliberate in planning their trips to supermarkets to adhere to advice around social distancing.

“However, it’s important to remember that the threat is not food or food packaging, but other people”, added Mahoney.

“Prepare and wash your fruit and vegetables as normal – wash them in cold running water and peel and cook where appropriate. Don’t use soaps or detergents as they’re not formulated for food.”

PMA A-NZ has made a range of resources available via its website to help fresh produce businesses succeed during the Covid-19 pandemic

“Now more than ever, it’s important to consume fresh fruits and vegetables, which can help boost the immune system and overall health”, Mahoney said.

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