Food safety tips when you're sick

It's important to follow food safety tips when you're unwell, or during events that cause water or power cuts.

Don't make others sick

Ideally, avoid preparing food for others if you're sick. If this isn't possible, take steps to reduce the risk of making others sick.

Personal hygiene is always the most important thing for anyone preparing food.

  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before you touch food. Wash and dry them after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, or touching your face.
  • Don't cough or sneeze over food. Turn away and cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • Cook food and serve it piping hot, as cooking kills most viruses and bacteria.
  • Ask someone who isn't sick to serve food. This is safer than everyone in the family touching serving spoons.
  • If you're a single parent, a caregiver, or you live alone, you may need to get someone to help you until you're feeling better.
  • Plan ahead. Think of someone who could help you with food and other supplies if you and your family are sick and can't leave the house.

Have emergency food supplies on hand. These can be useful if you're too sick to shop, or your family is quarantined because you may have been exposed to a virus.

Food safety advice during emergencies and disasters

Find out more

Find out about food safety if you have low immunity

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