While COVID-19 is circling the state and world, there is a lot of concern about the safety of our meat supply. People are concerned about contracting the virus through the packaging that their meat is in. With this concern growing, meat scientists and food safety specialists are assuring that there is no reason to be concerned with your meat supply. In fact, research shows that there is no evidence at this time that COVID-19 can be transmitted through consumption of contaminated foods.
Since the virus is transferred through droplets, there is a lesser chance for you to contract it through handling packaging. Washing your hands and cooking meats to the correct temperatures are all the measures that should be taken, but these should always be taken when handling food.
Make sure that you are washing your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap.
There have also been concerns spreading about the supply of meat that is readily available to the public. Even with the closing or slowing down of some meat plants there is no reason to be worried about the amount of meat available.
Panic buying is not necessary. The meat industry has been ready for any hiccups in processing and have plans to keep the supply chain moving at normal speed.
They are also beefing up their sanitization procedures to follow CDC and FDA guidelines to keep their facilities and employees safe. Social distancing is being practiced and any workers that feel ill are advised to stay at home to keep everyone safe.
Ashley Cox, of Jacksboro, is a senior at Tarleton State University with a major in Agricultural Services and Development and is interning this summer with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Parker County.