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Food pickers and the virus

(89 Posts)
NanaHev Sun 12-Jul-20 15:20:55

I saw on the news that on a farm 73 out of 200 food pickers have tested positive for the corona virus. Just how safe is out food? How long can this virus survive on broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes etc etc?

MawB Sun 12-Jul-20 15:26:22

Broccoli and potatoes are cooked, tomatoes can be washed.

Not so easy for the poor migrant workers who may have been housed in crowded insanitary conditions with I suspect, precious little opportunity for social distancing.

Greeneyedgirl Sun 12-Jul-20 15:35:03

I assume fruit and vegetables may be contaminated even in non Covid times, and always wash them before use.

There is more risk for the pickers I would think, probably living in close proximity to one another.

AGAA4 Sun 12-Jul-20 15:39:45

I always wash my fruit and veg in cold running water before cooking (the veg) then I wash my hands.

There have been several outbreaks of coronavirus in food processing factories as well. The migrant workers are treated very badly with overcrowded accommodation and no social distancing. They stand side by side very close together when working so no wonder the virus is rife.

welbeck Sun 12-Jul-20 18:06:04

i know some people always wash F&V in a solution of washing up liquid, then rinse.
probably a good idea anyway. there are some nasties, is it e-coli which are carried in soil and not destroyed by cooking.
another reason to be v careful if eating shop-bought jacket potatoes; maybe scoop out contents and fleshy part of potato but leave the skin.
the pickers are crammed in to sheds/ caravans, really expoited. that's why locals won't do it. below min wage.
a kentish girl enquired and agreed to work for min wage; then told she must pay big chunk of it for accomm on site. she said i don't need that i live down the road.
then we don't need you, was the answer.

GagaJo Sun 12-Jul-20 18:13:15

Was this in Lincolnshire? Conditions there are historically notoriously bad.

merlotgran Sun 12-Jul-20 18:17:53

The farm is in Hereford.

Please don't jump to conclusions about insanitary conditions although social distancing might be difficult.

Sparklefizz Sun 12-Jul-20 18:21:04

There was an outbreak of E.Coli about 12 years ago when we were being advised to wash all fruit, salads and veg in a weak solution of Milton. Once rinsed, I couldn't taste it.

Not sure if soap and water would be enough to kill E.Coli.

merlotgran Sun 12-Jul-20 18:22:50

The workers are living in static caravans with shared washing, toilet and kitchen facilities.

BlueBelle Sun 12-Jul-20 18:25:12

Many of these farms have horrible living conditions and that’s not jumping to conclusions merlotgran it’s a fact it doesn’t mean this one had, but chances are it’s the living conditions that have caused it just like the meat packaging factory in Germany that housed Immigrant workers in very poor conditions and I believe the poorly paid factory workers in Leicester
Surely a jacket potato that has been cooked either blasted in a microwave or cooked in an oven would not have any virus left on it I always eat the jacket

merlotgran Sun 12-Jul-20 18:31:36

I think I will wait until there is more information before making a judgement.

biba70 Sun 12-Jul-20 18:36:13

And yet- I bet there will be much less of an uproar about the Lincs situation, as compared to the Leicester one. Wonder why hmmm?

dizzyblonde Sun 12-Jul-20 18:42:21

Cooking does kill E Coli.

merlotgran Sun 12-Jul-20 18:44:49

What Lincs situation, biba70?

GagaJo Sun 12-Jul-20 18:46:59

And why less fuss?

ladymuck Sun 12-Jul-20 19:01:34

I always wash my fruit and veg in salt water anyway, especially when they have been picked by hand, like strawberries.

Doodledog Sun 12-Jul-20 19:52:59


And yet- I bet there will be much less of an uproar about the Lincs situation, as compared to the Leicester one. Wonder why hmmm?

What are you getting at here, biba70?

annodomini Sun 12-Jul-20 20:01:46

If you buy unpackaged fruit and veg in a supermarket the likelihood is that if has been pawed over by other shoppers who haven't necessarily used the hand sanitizer provided - if it is. I wash apples, bananas and salad veg with washing-up liquid and give them several rinses. It has worked so far.

BlueBelle Sun 12-Jul-20 20:12:05

Why would you wash bananas surely they have the perfect overcoat which we unpeel and throw away
The thought of washing fruit and veg in chemical laden washing up liquid is not for me I certainly wash my fruit and veg but not in chemicals

craftyone Mon 13-Jul-20 09:08:05

I have washed my fruit and veg for endless years, including all my home grown. I have used this ever since it was sold, maybe 25+years

BlueSky Mon 13-Jul-20 09:15:12

I've always washed fruit and veg but just in running water no soap or Milton or DH would throw a tantrum! As for jackets I've never eaten the skin even if it's probably perfectly safe but that's me.

PECS Mon 13-Jul-20 09:29:23

The pickers on this site are living in 33 moble homes. If there are "about" 200 ..that is quite a lot per small trailer. Easier for transmission of disease. They pay £50 a week for acommodation & are paid £8:85 ph for 48 hrs & £11:06 for hours worked after that.

lemongrove Mon 13-Jul-20 09:35:21

It would seem that they are paid reasonably well ( unlike the Leicester garment factory cases) but that too many are living closely together.OK in normal times perhaps but not during the pandemic, so the owners of the farm are at fault here.

lemongrove Mon 13-Jul-20 09:37:08

It would have been much better if at the start (March) the owners had started advertising for local pickers who don’t have to be put up in mobile homes to ease the crowding factor.

25Avalon Mon 13-Jul-20 09:43:50

I understood that in Spain a lot of crops are watered with ‘sewerage’? For that reason as well as being handled by who knows I always wash fruit and vegetables wherever they are from. Even some home grown produce needs a good wash with mice, flies, birds, and in my case rabbits, after it.