CHFA is following the news closely regarding the arrival of Coronavirus in Canada. We are taking our lead from health authorities such as BC Centre For Disease Control and have been in touch with Vancouver Coastal Health for comment on precautions to be taken at the show. At this time, it is business as usual.
All exhibitors who are sampling food are asked to be extra diligent in their food preparation and food handling regimen:
The best protection for exhibitors and visitors is to follow proper hygiene etiquette during the cold and flu season. This includes proper hand-washing with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when you are sick. The regular precautions that we request for all events are intended to prevent the spread of communicable disease. Food should be protected from contamination with the use of covers, sneeze guards or providing small portion amounts at a time. Attendees should not be double dipping into containers. Food should be provided with toothpicks, in portioned containers or dispensed in a manner that prevents contamination. Anyone handling food should be washing their hands regularly.
Shelley Beaudet, BSc, CPHI(C)
According to the Centers For Disease Control, recommendations are as follows:
Senior Environmental Health Officer
Vancouver Coastal Health
The most important thing you can do to prevent getting coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
- Take similar precautions to those of the common cold or flu.
- Practice good hand hygiene – frequently wash hands well with plain soap and especially after coughing, sneezing and before preparing foods/eating.
- Cough/sneeze into arm/elbow (rather than hands).
- Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
- As much as possible, avoid interactions with people who are ill.
- If you are sick yourself, stay away from others.
Coronavirus is transmitted via larger liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter through these droplets through the eyes, nose or throat. The virus is not known to be airborne. A person must be in close contact with somebody to be able to inhale those droplets if a person coughs or sneezes without cover, in front of them. The droplets fall quickly out of the air. The virus can be spread by touch if a person has used their hands to cover their mouth or nose when they cough. If a person has touched something that has droplets on it with coronavirus in it, they can prevent the virus from getting into their body by washing their hands before touching their face, eyes, nose or mouth. Coronavirus is not something that comes in through the skin.
CHFA will continue to monitor the information posted by the BC Centre for Disease Control and Vancouver Coastal Health and will share any updates pertaining to CHFA West. It is important to note that the BC Centre for Disease Control considers the risk to British Columbians and Canadians low.