Right now even going to the grocery store feels risky. We don’t how
healthy other shoppers are, who used the cart before us or how recently
the cashier washed his hands. But what about the groceries we are purchasing?
Are they ok to put up in our pantries, cabinets and refrigerators or do
we need to disinfect everything before we even bring it in our house?
According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), transmission of the virus is far more likely to spread through
respiratory droplets from an infected person than it is to spread through
surfaces, materials, or food. So you probably don’t need to do more
than what’s usually recommended to safely sanitize surfaces and
Fresh produce should always be washed in water but using soap is not necessary.
In fact, accidentally ingesting soap can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
As far as the items we put away for another day, the virus will be gone
by the time you take it out to use it. If you do need to use it immediately
and want to be extra careful, boxes and bags can be wiped down with a
disinfectant wipe or spray and a paper towel and canned goods can be wiped
down by using soapy water or wipes. You’ll also want to make sure
that you wash your hands or use hand sanitizer once you are finished putting
away your groceries and before you eat, which is probably a good idea anytime.
If you bring your own reusable grocery bags to the store with you, you
should wash them after every use to make sure they stay clear of bacteria
that can cause food-borne illness.
Just as with food packaging, mail and packages pose a low risk of transmitting
the coronavirus. However, wash your hands after handling them to be safe.