by Syed Samreen
SRINAGAR: Amid the pandemic, the holy month of Ramadan will commence on Saturday in Kashmir but the faithful are concerned about the consumption of various foods they take exclusively during the month of fasting.
Foods that are consumed during Ramadan including fresh fruits, vegetables and all sorts of succulent eatables, have become a matter of concern that if they are safe to eat.
While giving reference of the recent researches, Dr Suhail Naik, the president of Doctors’ association Kashmir, said besides maintaining the universal social distancing, hand washing and personal hygiene, people should know that the virus outside a human body can survive up to four days.
“It is very imperative to take some precautions while purchasing, processing or consuming food and fruit at home.” He added, “The fruits (including dates) and vegetables can be thoroughly placed under running water for a considerable amount of time to ensure anything and everything that lies on the surface of the eatables is washed off. After purchasing fruit, one can keep that in storage for 4 days. That is also going to kill all the virus on their surfaces.”
The doctor asserted that the recommendatory guidelines are not just meant for the customers or the ones consuming the foods but more importantly for the purveyors selling them.
“It is imperative for the retail shopkeepers and fruit vendors to reinforce personal hygiene and food hygiene principles to eliminate or reduce the risk of the virus on food surfaces and food packaging,” Dr Naik said.
He also said that whoever works in the food sector should be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 because if in case any of them is infected and has contracted the virus, it is possible that the respiratory droplets given off by the infected person can land on the eatables sold by him. Which is why the preventive course of action regarding the virus should be followed by both the seller and the buyer.
In case of the fruits and vegetables, that needs to be peeled off, Dr Naik said, after peeling off the upper layer which is directly in contact with the surrounding, hands should be properly washed for a minimum of 20 seconds.
“Same is the case with dates since they are consumed much more in this holy month. They should be thoroughly washed and stored for a few days before consuming them,” Dr Naik added.