We can’t live without food, can we? This is the reason why nobody is suggesting that you stop grocery shopping. While people are taking precautions at the supermarkets, there is one concern.
Should people disinfect their groceries? Well, supermarkets are very busy places filled with products that are touched by many people. Even though retailers are trying their best to help shoppers keep a distance, but is this enough?
Customers are left wondering about the exposure of virus on the products. In this article, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about the matter. From how to disinfect groceries to what precautions you can take at supermarkets, you will know everything.
Can Coronavirus Spread From Food?
According to the CDC and FDA, it’s not quite possible to get infected with coronavirus from food. SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness. You can’t get exposed to this virus through food or packaging.
The virus can survive on other surfaces including food. However, it soon dies off. It won’t survive any longer on food than other surfaces. If somehow you ate something that was contaminated with small amounts of the virus, chances are you won’t get affected.
Cooking food at the right temperature for the correct amount of time can kill any harmful bacteria. However, before you prepare any food you should always clean your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
However, apart from disinfecting other things like your doorknobs, pet paws, utensils, etc, it’s best to check it for the groceries as well. During this time of crisis, you can reduce your risk by using an antimicrobial soap.
How to Disinfect Groceries?
Grocery items, fruits, and vegetables are handled by many people throughout various processes. As a result, there is a chance of virus transmission without disinfecting them. Proper cleaning and storing can ensure protection from a lot of diseases.
Step One: Cleaning Your Hands, Food and Kitchen
First of all, before handling any food you need to wash your hands. You should always clean your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water.
Next, clean the fruits and vegetables under running water. Don’t make the mistake of washing these with soap or bleach. Soaps contain chemicals that can make you sick if you ingest them.
Instead, gently rub with your fingers and that’ll do the work. After washing these make sure to dry them with a clean towel.
Whenever you use any cutting boards or utensils wash them. Use soap and water to disinfect properly and always dry them with a towel.
Step Two: Safely Storing The Groceries
After you have cleaned the produce, storing them is important. Use a refrigerator for food that needs cold temperatures to stay fresh. If they don’t require a refrigerator, keep them in a clean and sanitized plastic container.
Always remember to clean your hands before and after handling any food.
How to Disinfect Grocery Containers
Viruses and bacteria can stay alive on surfaces for some time. Some people are choosing to leave their groceries in their garage for 72 hours. This method certainly kills any viruses or germs but you shouldn’t do it.
When you leave your food in your garage for three days it becomes a recipe for other foodborne diseases. Instead, follow this simple and effective method.
Step One: Select a ‘Safe’ Area
Before handling any groceries be sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds. Then select an area where you will place the grocery items. It’s better to use that area in the future for this purpose as it reduces the chances of spreading.
Step Two: Disinfect the Items
First, wipe down boxes and containers with disinfectant wipes or spray. It’s okay if you don’t have a disinfectant in your home. You can easily make it by mixing bleach and water. After disinfecting the containers let it sit for a minute or so.
After this, dry them off with a clean towel or paper cloth. If you choose to use a cloth towel be sure to wash those once a week.
Step Three: Clean The Area
Make sure to disinfect the area. It will be easier for you as you selected a certain area for this purpose. Once you are done, don’t forget your wash your hands again.
What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk at Supermarkets?
Visiting supermarkets are not that safe as you are mixing with a bunch of other people. But you need to go to a store to buy the necessary items. You can’t rely on delivery companies as they are overfull with demand.
However, you can take some precautions to reduce your risk. We can’t guarantee a 100% risk protection but it doesn’t hurt to try.
1. Shop at a Less Busy Time
A simple google search of your preferable store can show when they have the least foot traffic.
2. Wear a Mask
Whenever you outside it’s better to wear a mask. The recent advice from the CDC is, any type of masks can be used for non-medical purposes.
It’s not necessary to wear a surgical mask or an N95 respirator. These critical medical supplies should be reserved for healthcare workers, doctors, and nurses.
3. Carry a Hand Sanitizer With You
Supermarkets are filled with products that are touched by many people. Use the hand sanitizer before and after you use a cart.
4. Try Not to Exchange Bills
Using a debit or credit saves you from exchanging bills. If you have a digital wallet like Apple Pay, try using that.
Are Home Deliveries Safe?
Home deliveries are safer than going to the supermarket. You can avoid a lot of human contact by doing this.
The best part is, a lot of supermarkets are offering contactless deliveries. This way the delivery man leaves your product in a safe place, like your porch.
If your supermarket doesn’t offer something like this then you have to maintain social distance with the delivery man.
COVID-19 is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. During this time of crisis, it’s important to follow basic food safety rules. Food poisoning is the last thing anyone needs right now. Follow our guide on how to disinfect groceries and stay safe.