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H-E-B now carrying Houston restaurant-made meals during COVID-19 pandemic

In a time when restaurants are losing a lot of business, the grocery giant offered to help out, taking nothing in return.

HOUSTON — Three Houston restaurants are getting a lucky break after being chosen by H-E-B to feature their products inside Houston stores for free.

It’s not often you’d see a restaurant’s specialty inside a grocery store, but leave it to H-E-B to make it happen.

“It’s making such an impact across the board," said Chris Shepherd, owner of Underbelly Hospitality.

Shepherd never thought he’d sell his recipes inside H-E-B.

“I always wanted to. It’s something you can strive for, and this just gave us the opportunity," Shepherd said.

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But here we are, several of his specialties already in 10 Houston stores, including his Korean braised beef and dumplings, his Wagyu burger helper and King Ranch Chicken.

“It’s all gone, and it’s only been here an hour," Shepherd said.

It's a time when restaurants are losing a lot of business.

“85 percent across the board," Shepherd said.

The grocery giant offering to help out taking nothing in return.

“They’re doing it for free," Shepherd said.

In those refrigerated aisles, you’ll also find Cherry Block’s smoked ham hot gumbo, their pimento cheese and smoked catfish dip.

“We were lucky to be thrown into the hat. They came to us and said do you want to do this? Of course the answer was yes," said Cherry Block Chef Jess DeSham Timmons.

Timmons said they’ve started serving in five stores but hope that expands very soon.

To her, it’s an opportunity to pay employees.

“Now I am going to be able to provide for other people’s families as well. Which is really really important, that’s been the toughest thing for me," Timmons said.

The third restaurant you may recognize.

“Turtle soup has amazing curative properties we’ve been told by a lot of our guests over the years," said Alex Brennan-Martin, Brennan’s of Houston Proprietor.

Brennan’s of Houston’s famous turtle soup will also be on shelves at H-E-B.

“As far as Texas goes, that’s a pretty high honor," Brennan-Martin said.

Brennan's shrimp and okra gumbo and crawfish mac and cheese will also be on H-E-B shelves.

“It really is a community support effort on H-E-B’s part, and man, they are true Texans," Brennan-Martin said.

Here's a list at where you can currently find these meals:

Underbelly (Houston)

Cherry Block (Houston)

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Follow social distancing

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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