If you would have asked us last September if there would still be a need to write a tip about COVID-19 a year later, our answer would have been, “We sure hope not.” So, what’s changed? The simplest explanation is the emergence of the Delta variant.
When you hear us talk about food safety, we don’t often talk about variants. Rest assured, they’re there. We’d be glad to talk to you sometime about the differences between over 2,500 serotypes of Salmonella. Just like COVID-19, they were originally named for location of emergence or after the disease they caused in animals before transitioning to numbers instead of names.
Or we could talk about the nuances of human infections or the different genotypes of norovirus. There’s a simple reason that we don’t. When we design proactive, preventive food safety programs, the controls we put in place — health and hygiene, cleaning and sanitation, using safe water and sanitizers, etc. — work to control the foodborne hazard regardless of the serotype, genotype, strain or variant of the pathogen present. Quite simply, the control strategies are going to be the same regardless of which variant is there.
The same is true for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Although there is no evidence that this virus is a food-safety concern, it remains a health concern. The control measures in place last fall to protect ourselves and our workers continue to work for the Delta variant. These measures include: ,,,,,
Learn more about how to Protect Against the COVID-19 Delta Variant on the Citrus Industry website.