To stay safe many people choose to disinfect their groceries with sanitisers but this method is not recommended by Dr.Sonu Goel, a professor at PGIEMR’s Department of community medicine and school of public health.
Although it’s highly unlikely that a person can contract the virus through surface contact, here are some precautions that could be taken to ensure your groceries are safe.
Minimize trips to the grocery store
Firstly, it is recommended that a person doesn’t physically go to a store unless it’s absolutely necessary. Minimising trips to the grocery store can put you at less risk. If you do venture out to the grocery store then it’s important to make note of all the things you would require and assume that you would not be stepping out for a while. Shop only for essentials instead of browsing through the aisles.
Do Not Use Santizers On Fruits & Vegetables
While buying fruits and vegetables people are confused about the chemical that should be used to wash them. The virus is said to likely stay on the surface of vegetables and fruits for six to eight hours. Leaving the fruits and vegetables under the sun for four hours is likely to kill the virus. However, a thorough cleaning with warm water and baking soda after leaving it under the sun can ensure complete safety. Washing fruits and vegetables with sanitiser will cause more harm than good due to the presence of harsh chemicals. Only potassium permanganate containing liquids or products are recommended to wash fruits and vegetables.
Dispose off Packaging
In cases of packaged food it is recommended that the packaging is disposed off as soon as possible in a way that it is not exposed to other human beings as well.
When it comes to food ordered from elsewhere, the food is not the issue as it’s cooked at boiling temperature. The packaging and handling of the food is the issue. Using sanitiser to clean the packaging has not proved to be effective.
Carry your Own Bags
Bringing your own reusable bag to the store can also help as you can take it back home, rewash and reuse it.
In most cases if you can get rid of the packaging and store the said item elsewhere like in a box then it’s highly recommended. It is also important to disinfect the surfaces after you put away your groceries as the virus may stay on the surface.
In cases where people have to head to work everyday then it’s important for them to carry their own cutlery, pens and books, sanitiser bottles and disinfectant wipes.
Removing your shoes, removing and putting your clothes in detergent water before interacting with family can also help in reducing risk of exposure to the virus.