Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Alaska Seafood: A Healthy Choice

Seafood harvesters facing the bumpy health and economic challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic are getting a new wave of advice on business management and direct marketing, the bottom line being that Alaska seafood is a safe, nutritious and tasty choice.

All the concern about how the novel coronavirus is spread aside, there is currently no evidence supporting the transmission of COVID-19 through food to humans, the Alaska seafood Marketing Institute notes in its guidelines to the industry.

Alaska seafood is safe to eat and can be enjoyed without concern ASMI said.

The Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have not found that the COVID-19 virus can be spread through food, ASMI notes in a recent guideline for use by stakeholders in the Alaska seafood industry.

National Fisheries Institute cites an advisory from the World Health Organization that said “the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”

Still everyone is encouraged to continue following food safety protocols, including washing hands for at least 20 seconds, and wiping down often used surfaces, before consuming any food products.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has been actively engaged with organizations representing fishermen, plus processors and coastal communities, to establish mandates to protect the health and safety of those in the industry and coastal communities.

Through early May, a total of 371 Alaskans were infected with the virus of which 277 had recovered, a total of 37 people were hospitalized and nine had died.

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