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Coronavirus concerns not slowing business at Jacksonville fish markets

Trout Fish Company making sure food stays safe during packaging process

Coronavirus concerns not slowing business at Jacksonville fish markets
Coronavirus concerns not slowing business at Jacksonville fish markets

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville-area fish markets said they’ve been busier in the last few days, but they’re still taking precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There isn’t evidence showing the coronavirus can be spread through food, and many area seafood markets get their fish from local waterways, but those businesses want to make sure their food stays safe during the packaging process.

The Trout River Fish Company on the Northside told News4Jax it is in close communication with who it is getting its products from and making sure those products are safe.

The World Health Organization said it’s safe to get packages from an area where COVID-19 has been reported. According to the WHO, the risks are low for an infected person spreading it from a package that’s been shipped.

On Thursday, the Trout River Fish Company also put up a border, following store guidelines.

“We created a makeshift barrier, which is typically around 6 feet, just as we have been asked to do,” said Andrea McHugh, with the Trout River Fish Company’s customer service.

Through the glass, customers can still see the products locally caught or shipped from South Florida or North Carolina, McHugh said.

“They did have shrimp out here, but they place them back there so people don’t touch and breathe all over them, which is a safe suggestion,” said Maria Hughes, a regular customer at the Trout River Fish Company.

Concerns surrounding the coronavirus haven’t stopped customers such as Hughes from coming to the Trout River Fish Company. If anything, McHugh said, they’ve gotten busier.

“It has affected some of their other retail customers, but it hasn’t slowed us down a bit,” McHugh explained. “Especially if they really shut down restaurants because people are going to stock up on their groceries.”

Outside of the normal food safety precautions, the fish market said that it bleaches hard surfaces once every hour and it is doing whatever it can to stay in business.

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