I described March to a colleague as going by really fast and lasting 1000 years. Has your March been similar? I started off the month in high hopes for the future and for my clients and I ended it scrambling to cope and understand what the COVID-19 pandemic would mean for me, my clients and food safety. It has been a whirlwind coupled with relentless amounts of information and advice which is constantly changing. How can anyone be expected to work under that, let alone the whole world.
I live in fear of hearing that family members are ill and check every ache, pain and sneeze just in case it is my turn to be ill. I just got over a cold. It was even hard to admit that I wasn’t feeling well because that might invite the VIRUS into my life.
Some good is coming out of our struggles. Our emergency food system ramped up its services, which are desperately needed now so many have been laid off or put on furlough. School food services recognized that their role during the closures and lockdowns was to ensure that children still have access to healthy food options. It is unfortunate that either of these emergency food systems are necessary in one of the wealthiest countries of the world.
Amongst the horror stories, we must recognize how fortunate we are. We mostly have food, and drinkable water, shelter. If you are reading this you probably have internet access and electricity. Even though it is hard sometimes, I write a gratitude journal entry every morning and I typically end with “I am grateful for every breath, I am grateful for my life right now and I am grateful for love.”
During the lockdown we have discovered the importance of our food workers; grocery store workers, instacart buyers, farmers, farm workers, line workers at manufacturing plants. In some ways we are now finally realizing that our safety, our lives depends on them. Perhaps now is a good time to respect them more and better them better and at a minimum pay them proper wages with decent benefits.
Fortunately, according to FDA food is not responsible for transmitting the virus; neither is packaging. This is a huge relief. That doesn’t mean that food safety risks have gone away. It is even more important that we follow good hygiene and sanitation practices.
I hope you and your loved ones are well and that you are able to keep doing the work that you value. I hope that time with your family is something that you enjoy and relish. I also hope that you get some time to spend on you.
I am here for you. I am putting together a list of resources on COVID-19 and food safety for small food businesses that I will share with you throughout the month here.
While COVID-19 may not be spread via food, one thing’s for certain that in light of all this safety and health standards will be elevated on how we practice hygiene in this country. Now more than ever you need to be installing and adhering to strict food safety plans and protocols. You do not want to risk your business by not being up to code. Click here to schedule a food safety call and we can chat about what you can do right away to ensure you are in full compliance.