PMA serves up COVID-19 advice for producers

PMA serves up COVID-19 advice for producers and consumers

Horticulture
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PMA A-NZ is helping producers keep up to date with COVID-19 procedures.

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FROM recommending laser thermometers calibrated to human skin, through to advice on how to wash hands properly, a fresh produce group has served up advice for food producers operating during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) has released guidelines for the fresh produce industry during the coronavirus outbreak to help growers and processors cope with protocol changes.

The guidelines have been developed to mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19 to employees, their business and the supply of fresh produce to consumers.

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PMA A-NZ head of food safety, Deon Mahoney, said the industry needed to ensure it was doing everything it could to reduce the risk in fresh produce businesses to ensure they continue in order to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to consumers.

PMA A-NZ has also released a range of resources to help fresh produce businesses succeed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which are free to the public at pma-anz.com.

"Now more than ever, it's important to consume fresh fruits and vegetables, which can help boost the immune system and overall health," Mr Mahoney said.

The organisation was also on the front foot to dispel fears about fresh food being a possible vector for COVID-19.

It reiterated the message from the World Health Organization that fresh produce was safe and the consumption of fruit and vegetables was encouraged during this time.

"It's important for consumers to be deliberate in planning their trips to the supermarket to adhere to the Government advice around social distancing," Mr Mahoney said.

"However, it's important to remember that the threat is not food or food packaging, but other people.

"Prepare and wash your fruit and vegetables as normal - wash them in cold running water and peel and cook where appropriate.

"Don't use soaps or detergents as they're not formulated for food."

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