EATING AND DRINKING AT THE TIME OF COVID-19: WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

 Elisabetta Aprili, Quality Inspector and Agrofood Consultant

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Today more than ever, we are finding ourselves bombarded by conflicting news and instructions about the Coronavirus, some of which are fake. We are inundated by guidelines that tend to be largely unreliable and do nothing but heighten our fears and anxiety. 

Lots of us will have wondered things like “are the foods we bring home safe?”, “can wine be a carrier for Coronavirus?”, all valid questions that deserve a firm, practical response. 

Please note that, to date, there are no known cases in which Covid-19 has been passed on by food, including wine

Indeed, a series of strict monitoring activities is in place to confirm this, promoted by the main responsible bodies, including principally the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). These continue to confirm that there is no risk of the virus being transmitted from foodstuffs to man.

Over the last few weeks, lots of incorrect information has been circulated regarding food safety and Coronavirus. In fact, various countries in the European Union have requested “virus-free” certifications on Italian products destined for the export market. 

The damage caused to the reputation of the Italian agrofood market by these requests has been inevitable. Wheels of Grana Padano blocked at the borders in Greece, huge wine orders cancelled. 

The Italian Minister of Economic Development, Stefano Patuanelli, has stated on this subject: “I fully understand where this is coming from, but there is no need for a virus-free mark, because our products are no different from before. There is no risk of contagion from, for example, wine”. And Luigi Scordamaglia, CEO of Filiera Italia, reiterates that “the requests for “virus-free” certifications […] are unacceptable and unjustified”.

The chaos that had broken out was placated a few days ago by the intervention of the European Commission, which published a set of Guidelines for Border Management Measures in which it dismissed the need for any kind of “virus-free” certification, in line with the scientific evidence presented by the EFSA.

In 2019, Italy’s agrofood industry registered record-breaking export figures, not to mention the nation’s Wine sector which, according to Il Sole24Ore, also generated 1.3 billion Euro in export sales. These figures undoubtedly reflect the extraordinary wealth of our territory and the exceptional quality offered by all the players in our production and supply chain.

Despite all the difficulties and the inevitable consequences that we are sure to suffer at the hands of this microscopic infective particle, we must fight back. We must remain curious and keep cooking, tasting and awakening all 5 senses with Italian food and drink, our national treasures.

E-commerce and delivery: your wine cellar at a click

Our habits and the way we consume food and drink are changing. Aperitifs on the shore of the couch, toasts to good health drunk in video calls, digestive liqueurs and spirits served from the old reserve, the “dining room drinks cabinet”.

The e-commerce sector has experienced an exponential growth, witnessing a mind-blowing increase in orders over the last few weeks. In addition to the many apps specialised in digital wine commerce, many traditional wine shops are now remaining open by offering a home delivery service. But what recommendations should we be following during delivery?

The World Health Organization states: “the probability that an infected person will contaminate the goods is low, just as the risk of contracting the new virus from a package […] is low”. So, it is essential that we keep a safety distance of at least 1 metre from the courier, avoiding personal contact.

This advice is part of a serious of recommendations issued by the Italian Ministry of Health, which can be viewed on the website www.salute.gov.it./nuovocoronavirus.

So, there it is: we can continue consuming Italian food and drink with full peace of mind, as long as we respect the rules on social distancing when the packages are home delivered!

And if you want to spoil yourself, make sure you choose the right wine for you and your tastes. Do the test below and our virtual sommelier will suggest the ideal #Character of wine for you.

Remember that the Virtual Sommelier service is available on the Winelivery and Vinicum. e-commerce sites.

There’s no need to be afraid! #idrinkitalian #ieatitalian

FAI IL TEST