Which vegetables are imported to India

Corona hygiene Low risk of infection from food from abroad

Import to Germany

First of all: Germany does not import that much from India. In the case of fresh fruit, it is around 25,000 tons per year. More than twenty times as much comes from Italy and Spain. Of course, nobody would want to buy food contaminated with a contagious virus mutation. However, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment is not yet aware of any case in which someone was infected with corona through food.

Coronaviruses need a living host

Suppose coronavirus actually gets on a fresh Indian mango. Then the viruses can no longer multiply there because they need a living host, i.e. a human or an animal. So the question about food is actually very similar to the question: How long has the virus been infectious on surfaces? And then we know: this is certainly not the main route of transmission, because the virus is no longer stable there after a while.

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The Indian virus variant is unsettling the population

Nevertheless, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment receives exactly such questions: Can I get infected from fresh fruit, from baked goods, from meat? Are dock workers and employees of freight forwarders who have contact with imported goods infected? Now that the British virus variant B 1.1.7 has also become widespread in Germany, the virus variant that appeared in India is unsettling - and the thought of getting infected with it through imported food.

Risk researcher Gerd Gigerenzer estimates food infection

Risk researcher Gerd Gigerenzer is also thinking about people's fear of the coronavirus, and something about it seems remarkable to him: "At the moment we are afraid of dying from the new virus. But at the same time we are hardly afraid of dying from things that - at the moment - are more likely that they will kill us. For example, the normal flu, "says Gigerenzer in an interview with ZDF.

According to Gigerenzer, the frightening thing about a pandemic is that many people could be killed in a short period of time - a "shock risk" just like in a plane crash. Just as many flu deaths, but spread over several months, would be "difficult to induce fear in us". Driving, motorcycling and smoking cigarettes hardly scared anyone, although they are more dangerous for the individual.

But because Gerd Gigerenzer in no way denies that the coronavirus poses a "real danger", a disproportionately cautious attitude is better than ignoring the pandemic.

Fruit and vegetables from the supermarket

For food it is recommended, as usual: Rinse fruit and vegetables under running water and do not store them wet. Disinfectants or soap are not needed for food or packaging, only for the hands.