With taking safety precautions against the novel coronavirus being a part of everyday life, residents have to observe personal hygiene, such as wearing a mask, washing their hands frequently and practising social distancing. In the aspects of grocery shopping and food handling, we can enjoy fresh food, livestock and cold-chain food without worries if we maintain good personal hygiene and take necessary food safety precautions. These are in line with the recommendations1 of the World Health Organization to the public and the food sectors, as well as the results of research conducted by experts in China.
1. Handle Raw and Cooked Food Separately:
- Use two sets of chopping boards and knives for raw and cooked food to prevent cross-contamination;
- Before washing meat and food items (including cold-chain food products), place them in a container to prevent water from splashing onto the floor and countertops;
- After food preparation, thoroughly disinfect the kitchen sink, utensils and countertops. Remember to clean and sanitise the refrigerator at regular intervals;
- Clean hands between handling raw and cooked food2.
2. Cook Thoroughly:
- Food must be cooked thoroughly, especially meat, poultry and eggs;
- Make sure your hands are clean before eating.
3. Points to Note When Buying Fresh Food:
- Buy food (including cold-chain food) from licensed and reputable shops. In the case of shopping online or through surrogate shoppers, consumers must be aware of the source, storage and transport conditions of the food products on sale. These food must comply with the laws and regulations governing the import of fresh food and live products into Macao3;
- Consumers must observe personal hygiene and take necessary precautions while grocery shopping. They have to wash their hands frequently, wear a mask properly, practise social distancing, avoid touching cold-chain food directly with their hands, use tongs or other tools to choose and pick up the food;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Wash hands with liquid soap or disinfect them with alcohol-based sanitiser thoroughly after shopping, particularly after touching animal carcasses and meat.
Besides of above suggestions, citizens should bear the foremost tips in mind when travelling outside:
- Do not consume game meat nor patronise food establishments serving game meat;
- Avoid visiting live poultry markets, farms or wet markets;
- Avoid contact with animals (including game), poultry, birds and their droppings.
Furthermore, do not buy food of unknown origins from unlicensed hawkers; nor bring meat, fresh and live food products into Macao without an official permit. The public should practise the ‘Five Keys to Food Safety in ABCDE’ compiled by the Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) in their everyday life to take precautions for food safety.
In order to effectively prevent the possible spread of novel coronavirus through foods and minimise its transmission risk among Macao’s communities, the Department of Food Safety of the Municipal Affairs Bureau has compiled the following information as a reference for the food sector and general public to strengthen their awareness of food safety precautions and improve their personal hygiene practices.
For the Public:
【Food Safety Information Publications】堂食用餐6招式 防疫食安兩不誤 (Chinese version only)
【Stay Vigilant Against COVID-19】Are Cold-chain Food Products Safe for Consumption?
【Food Safety Fact Sheets】Rumours and Fallacies about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
【Food Safety Fact Sheets】Is It True that COVID-19 Adheres to the Surface of Food?
【Infographic】Four Tips for Cooking during the Pandemic
【Epidemic Prevention】6 Tips for Dining in Food Establishments
【Infographic】Food Safety for Dining Out
【Promotional Video】外賣訂餐食安小貼士 (Chinese version only)
【Food Safety Fact Sheets】Precautions for Takeaway Food Safety Control
【Infographic】Note for Ordering Food Delivery (PDF format)
【Leaflet】Five Keys to Food Safety in ABCDE
For the Trade:
- 【Hygiene Advice】預防新型冠病毒肺炎 - 消毒冷鏈設備和貨物的衛生建議 (Chinese version only)
- 【Trade Guidelines】預防新型冠狀病毒肺炎的食品安全衛生指引 (PDF format) (Chinese version only)
- 【Promotional Video】外賣訂餐食安小貼士 (Chinese version only)
- 【Epidemic Prevention】6 Tips for Dining in Food Establishments
1. For details, please refer to the information on “What can people do to protect themselves and others from getting the new coronavirus?” (Chinese version only) posted on the WeChat account of the World Health Organization and its webpage on “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Advice for the Public”, “Coronavirus” and “COVID-19 and food safety: guidance for food Business”;
2. For details, please refer to “Steps for Proper Hand Washing” prepared by the Municipal Affairs Bureau;
3. In accordance with Law No. 7/2003 “Foreign Trade Law” amended by Law No. 3/2016 and the Order of Chief Executive No. 487/2016, importers of fresh and live food products and animal derived products into Macao are required to make a declaration to the competent authorities and the products being subject to health inspection and quarantine.