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COVID-19: 13 Popular Coronavirus Food Myths Busted!

Since its advent in December 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused 932,997 deaths, affecting over 29,459,649 people. Covid-19 can affect anyone, causing symptoms ranging from mild to very severe, where some people may be more likely to have severe illness than others because they have characteristics or medical conditions that increase their risk [1].

Amidst the virus outbreak, there have been a lot of concerns over food safety. WHO and the CDC had assured that there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with Covid-19 [2]. However, a recent study by a group of Chinese researchers claimed that the Covid-19 virus could survive for eight days at 4 degrees Celsius in frozen foods [3][4].

While the study may have proven that the virus can be found in frozen foods such as salmon and other meat products, there is an excessive need to carry out more studies on the subject to gather a clearer understanding of the dangers.

In the event of this news, there has been an increase in the paranoia around the coronavirus being spread and contracted through food. So, we have examined some of the most common Coronavirus Food Myths and have fact-checked them for you. Take a look.


Myth 1: Avoiding Ice Cream Can Help Keep You Safe from COVID-19

Fact: False. There is no scientific proof which suggests that eating frozen such as ice-cream spreads the virus, nor that avoiding ice cream and other cold foods can help prevent the onset of the disease [5].

Myth 2: You Can Get COVID-19 From Chinese Food

Fact: False. As ignorant as it sounds, it is impossible to get the coronavirus infection from Chinese food unless and until the food has been exposed to someone with the virus [6].

Myth 3: Garlic Soup Is a Cure

Fact: False. There was a viral claim that "drinking a soup made from boiling eight cloves of garlic in water will "cure" coronavirus. While regular consumption of garlic can help improve your immunity, there is no way that consuming garlic soup will help protect your body against the SARS-CoV-2 virus [7].

Myth 4: Drinking Water Can Help You Avoid COVID-19

Fact: False. Drinking lots of water throughout the day is generally good for your overall health. Still, it is not enough to prevent the onset of coronavirus infection [8]. The claim suggested that drinking water every 15 minutes would wash any virus down the oesophagus so that it will not enter the lungs.

Myth 5: You Can Get COVID-19 From Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Fact: False. It is highly unlikely that people can contract Covid-19 from fresh produce. There is no evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses being transmitted via food, fruits or vegetables [9]. Although the Chinese study has claimed that the virus can survive in Salmon fish, it talks about frozen foods and not fresh produce.

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Myth 6: Leaving Groceries in Your Car for Over a Day Will Make Them Safer

Fact: No, it won't. Apart from your groceries losing their freshness, nothing else is going to happen to them in the car. The claim suggested that leaving your groceries in the car trunk for a couple of days will make you more likely to stay Covid-19-free.

Myth 7: Adding Pepper To Your Soup Or Other Meals Prevents Coronavirus

Fact: False. While consuming hot peppers in a limited quantity can be beneficial for your health as they contain capsaicin, which acts as an antioxidant to protect your cells and helps tamp down inflammation [10], there is no way that the spicy herb can prevent the coronavirus diseases.

Myth 8: Lemon And Turmeric Help Prevent Covid-19

Fact: False. The combination of lemon and pepper is known to provide a host of health benefits [11]. While the combination has health benefits such as pain relief, inflammation management and sore throat management, it does not help prevent the onset of Covid-19.


Myth 9: Covid-19 Can Be Treated By Gargling With Warm Water Mixed With Salt And Vinegar

Fact: False. While gargling the warm water-vinegar-salt solution may help cure a sore throat, it cannot help with Covid-19 infection [12]. The claim said that "Coronavirus before it reaches the lungs, it remains in the throat for four days and at this time the person begins to cough and have throat pains. If he drinks water a lot and gargles with warm water and salt or vinegar eliminates the virus." WHO pointed out that while rinsing the nose using saline (saltwater) may help people recover from a cold faster, it can in no way prevent respiratory infections [13].

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Myth 10: Drinking Fresh Bitter Gourd Juice Can Cure The Coronavirus

Fact: False. Bitter gourd juice can do so many things, like help maintain the blood sugar levels, lowers bad cholesterol levels, cures hangovers, boosts the immune system and more. But what drinking bitter gourd juice will not do to your body is that it will NOT cure COVID-19 [14].

Myth 11: Eating Chicken Causes Spread Of New Coronavirus

Fact: False. Eating hygienically prepared and well-cooked chicken is safe and healthy for you. However, eating undercooked chicken can cause diarrhoea, bloating, fever, vomiting, and bloody stools, but NOT Covid-19 [15].

Myth 12: Using Mustard Oil In Cooking Can Help Prevent The Spread Of Coronavirus

Fact: False. Cooking with mustard oil has several health benefits due to the presence of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that can help lower the risk of developing ischemic heart disease [16]. However, cooking with mustard is no cure or preventive measure for the coronavirus disease.

Myth 13: Spraying Alcohol Or Chlorine All Over Your Body Kills The Virus

Fact: False. There were reports of people drinking chlorine and excessive amounts of alcohol to kill the coronavirus, which caused deaths around the world. Experts point out that spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body can not kill the new coronavirus.


On A Final Note…

Researchers are extensively studying the possible link between the coronavirus strain and food, and whether there are any possibilities of virus-spread through food. In the meantime, it standard hygiene practices, safe food handling, and using cooking practices that protect us from foodborne illnesses in the time of Covid-19.

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