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Is it safe to eat fresh fruit?

According to guidance provided – yes it is! See the guidance below:

  • The NHS, UK government and Food Standards Agency’s general guidance is: “It is very unlikely that you can catch coronavirus from food”
  • The European Commission Directorate General for Food Safety has reported: “Despite the large scale of the pandemic, there has been no report of transmission of COVID-19 via consumption of food to date. Therefore, as stated by the European Food Safety Authority, there is no evidence that food poses a risk to public health in relation to COVID-19.”
  • Which? Magazine has also published guidance on the same basis: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/04/coronavirus-food-and-eating-your-questions-answered/%20

Is it safe to eat fruit from a fruit basket/box in the office?

There is no specific guidance for workplaces as such, but the guidance is that eating fruit is safe and You should follow good hygiene (…) practices which includes washing fresh produce. Washing fruit is something we have always advised our clients to do so this shouldn’t mean big changes.

During April and May we delivered over 250,000 fruit portions to over 40,000 NHS staff in hospitals in 7,000 shared boxes – during this period we received no concerns from any of the teams about eating from the fruit boxes: our fruit was enjoyed by healthcare professionals who understand the risks involved are minimal and, as our guidance suggests, simply washed the fruit before eating it.

Fruitful Office also operates in The Netherlands and in Germany, and in these countries our clients have also been fully accepting of our standard product packaging in shared baskets and boxes.

Nevertheless, Fruitful Office has done the following to further address client concerns:

  • We have created an additional product range (as shown above), which includes:
  1. “Banana and citrus only” basket – only has fruit with “peelable”, protective skin that is removed before eating the fruit from within
  2. Other products with additional packaging protection. It is important to bear in mind that the more packaging added, the more expensive the product becomes, and the higher the potential carbon and waste footprint on the environment
  • In each basket/box we deliver, we include an A5-sized “Safe Eating Guide – Office Fruit”. This can be used to help provide guidance to your staff on this issue, and it can be kept next to the basket/box for staff to clearly see when reaching for the fruit. Steps include:
  1. Wash your hands with lukewarm water and soap for 20 seconds
  2. Please only touch the piece of fruit you are going to eat
  3. Wash and rub your piece of fruit with water before eating

What precautions are being taken during the production of my fruit product?

Producing office fruit baskets and boxes is considered very low risk from a food hygiene perspective. This is because we provide whole fruit, and not cut fruit. Nevertheless, Fruitful Office follows the strict HACCP food safety system to ensure we offer the safest office fruit service possible.

In the current climate, we have adopted these additional industry-leading safety precautions:

  • Every day, all staff are symptom-screened before entering Fruitful Office’s production hubs
  • During production, staff must wear the following PPE: a face mask, gloves and a hair net as well as a protective coat
  • Distancing of 2 metres during the production process, no face-to-face working and a “cohort” team break system

What precautions are Fruitful Office taking during the delivery of my fruit product?

Our own drivers bring the fruit baskets and boxes from our production unit to your office. To continue the chain of safety precautions up to delivery at your office, they are currently following these additional industry-leading safety precautions:

  • All drivers wear PPE during their deliveries (face masks and gloves)
  • Regular sanitisation of hands
  • Trained to keep 2 metres distance with everyone
  • Regular sanitisation of van internal areas