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An image claiming that "since bakery items cannot be washed it may contain coronavirus pathogen and hence should be avoided", has been doing the rounds on social media.
The image comes with a World Health Organisation logo thus claiming that it is prescribed by WHO.
"Stop eating bakery items. It is strictly advised not to eat bakery items as it is not washable and can get infected to the virus easily," reads the caption accompanying the posts.
Stop eating bakery items pic.twitter.com/Bl3DekF1hD— Shafat Ullah Khan Sherwani (@ullah_sherwani) March 27, 2020
WHO had advised against consuming baked items.
The claim is false. In the 'Advice for public' section in the WHO website, experts have issued some basic protective measures against the novel coronavirus.
These measures include:
(1) Wash your hands frequently
(2) Maintain social distancing
(3) Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
(4) Practice respiratory hygiene
(5) If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
(6) Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider.
Nowhere in the WHO advisory is it suggested or mentioned anything about bakery items.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), "currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads."
The official twitter account of WHO– Sri Lanka tweeted against the false advisory. "FACT CHECK : @WHO has not advised against eating bakery items," their tweet reads.
The same clarification was posted on Facebook as well.
After we reverse searched the image it was revealed that the viral image is from a news article published in bakeryinfo.co.uk website, titled, "Coronavirus: how bakers are dealing with the pandemic".
The article does not mention anything regarding a WHO advisory or not consuming bread. Therefore, WHO has not advised against consuming baked goods.
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