ROCHESTER — City Manager Blaine Cox and Mayor Caroline McCarley wish to provide the community with the following food and home safety tips to keep in mind relating to the COVID-19 crisis.
Food Safety Tips:
- There is currently not a food shortage. Buy what you need.
- Use by Date: This means cook, freeze or use by the particular date. Discard the day after.
- Best by Date: Refers to the date that quality will be at its best.
- Food storage: Raw meat should be stored on the bottom of the refrigerator. Working from the bottom up, store poultry at the lowest point, then ground beef, whole cut beef and pork, fish, fruits and vegetables, and prepared foods.
- Thawing foods: Meats and prepared foods should be thawed under refrigeration. Another way that is acceptable is to run under cold water or cook.
- Refrigeration: DO NOT over pack your refrigerator. The temperature should be below 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cool hot foods: Cool food as rapidly as possible, placing in smaller thinner containers. Freeze a clean container of water. Insert into a hot stew and rapidly cool. Putting a pot of hot chili in an over packed refrigerator will not only cause rapid bacteria growth in the chili, but it will also warm the air temperature of the refrigeration unit.
- Cooking times: Food should always be cooked to safe temperatures. Poultry, casseroles and leftovers to 165 degrees, ground beef to 160 degrees, whole cut beef, pork and lamb to 145 degrees (all Fahrenheit).
Take-out, Delivery and Drive-Thru Tips:
- Pay online if possible.
- If cash is exchanged, place to the side for 72 hours and wash your hands thoroughly for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Have your delivery driver contact you when they arrive and have them place the food outside the entryway. If you live in a building try and avoid having the driver enter the building.
- Remove and discard packaging, and wash hands thoroughly.
- Wash hands before leaving the house to pick up food. If you have hand sanitizer, use before and after the exchange of food.
General Public Notices:
- Do not flush anything down your sewage lines other than toilet paper. Other items, like wipes (even flushable), will clog septic and city sewer lines, potentially creating other public health crises.
- Open doors and windows daily to improve air flow, and get outside as much as possible.
- There is currently no evidence of food being associated with COVID-19 transmission, according to both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration. Restaurants are required to follow all food safety rules and are required to have employees educated in food safety and handling.
- When it comes to the COVID-19 virus, the greater transmission safety risk is largely associated with people interacting with other people.
Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.