A pesky virus, one that you can’t even see with the naked eye is more or less here to trample your life. It has redefined all of our normal and even projected different ways in which we function in our day to day lives. One of the most common issues that we have is how to clean groceries during coronavirus.
Just washing your veggies or leaving them out in the sun is not going to help. This is one of the reasons why knowing about the whole tips and precautionary methods is a necessity. You might think, “Is disinfecting everything that comes from outside a necessity?” To answer your question, yes.
Here, we are going to give you a complete guide to ways to clean groceries during pandemic to ensure that you don’t get infected.
Why Should you Clean Your Groceries?
For those who aren’t aware, the virus that causes Covid-19 is called Sars-CoV-2.
“But, don’t virus live in living hosts?”
Yes, they do.
But, it is true that the Sars-CoV-2 virus can stay active on surfaces for hours and even days at times, depending on the surface.
So, even if they are not multiplying on such surfaces, it could be active on them.
If you are wondering how long the virus stays active on surfaces, it can stay active for 24 hours on cardboard, clothes, and paper and around 72 hours on plastic and metal surfaces.
That answers your question of why you need to wash and clean your groceries very thoroughly.
How Would the Groceries have Coronavirus on it?
Now that you ask, let me clarify some things.
It is very common for people to think that packaged foods that have been packed by machines are safe for consumption right out of the bag.
Well, they are not.
While it is true that they have been packaged safely, the packet has been handled by multiple workers and then at the store by multiple people. If you bring in the grocery and throw it inside the pantry without cleaning, you are likely being reckless.
So, how can your groceries might have coronavirus on them?
- The food staples and veggies are handled by multiple workers from the factories and farms to the stores. There could be contamination along the way
- In the stores, multiple people touch the items on display, risking the contamination of the food items further
- You might touch an infected surface and then touch the food item and groceries with the same hand, further risking the transfer of the virus
How to Take Precautions While Out Getting Groceries?
How you practice caution while getting the groceries from the store matters a lot. If you think that just washing the groceries after coming back is enough, you are wrong. You need to practice caution every step of the way.
- Before you enter the shopping mall.
- During your shopping.
- After the grocery shopping.
Some of the important steps include:
Before Grocery Shopping
- Once you leave the house, it is extremely important that you carry your mask, gloves and sanitiser with you
- After arriving to the grocery store, wear your gloves and sanitise your hands
- Carry a disinfectant wipe and wipe down on the trolley handle multiple times
During Grocery Shopping
- Once you enter the grocery store, it is necessary that you do focus on touching things that you need
- Now is not the time to turn things around and check them
- Carry a list of things you want and buy just them. In case you see something around that catches your eyes, you can pick it up
- Sanitise your hands every few minutes
- Pay with digital money instead of cash
- Once you have loaded your car with the groceries, dispose the gloves responsibly and the right way in the garbage
- Sanitise your hands again
After grocery shopping
- Unload all the grocery items on the porch first instead of keeping them on the kitchen counters
Scroll down further to get a detailed step by step guide on how to clean the groceries
How to Clean Groceries During Coronavirus?
“Should I just spray them directly with some disinfectant?”
No, you shouldn’t.
If you have been keeping your eyes out on things, it is likely that you will come across insights on how people have started using soap water to wash their fruits and vegetables and even spray disinfectants directly on them.
This is going to do worse than good.
Some of the general steps that you need to follow include:
- In case you are getting your groceries delivered to your home, it is best if you keep a bin outside of the house. Tear off the cardboard and dispose them outside in the bin
- Ask someone with clean hands to take the grocery items inside the house
- In case you are out on a grocery run, carry your reusable bag with you to carry the items back to your home. Once you have washed your groceries, wash the bag too
- Clean your fruits and vegetables by soaking them in a solution of water and potassium permanganate. If you don’t have potassium permanganate, you can simply scrub them under direct water for 20 seconds with a brush
- Sanitise and disinfect the counter and the tabletop where you kept the grocery items
- Wash the canned and packaged foods thoroughly with soap and water
Ways to Clean Groceries During a Pandemic
If you have been looking for tips to clean groceries and vegetables during corona, there are a few important things that you need to keep in mind.
As we did mention before, coronavirus is alive on different surfaces for a different amounts of time. It stays active on the metal surfaces longer than the cardboard ones.
Vegetables and fruits
There are several YouTubers and uninformed people who are advising using soap and water to clean the produce.
Don’t do that.
The Food and Drug Administration of U.S (R) doesn’t advice using soap and water for cleaning the groceries at all. If you have been doing that, it is time that you stop.
There is a process called Sterile Technique wherein you leave the groceries out in the backyard for 72 hours before bringing it inside the house.
While this does work, this is not the best option when you have fruits and vegetables which will rot if kept outside for three days straight.
But, using soap and water for your vegetables is not safe.
In case you ingest the soap and disinfectants, the same can cause irritation in the stomach and cause gastrointestinal distress.
Even the alcohol-based disinfectants have long-term side effects on the body and can impose side effects too.
For disinfecting your fruits and vegetables:
- Leave them out under direct sunlight for 2-3 hours
- Wash them under running water for 20 seconds and use a brush to get rid of the dirt
Packaged and canned items
Since packaged and canned items come with a buffer of tin or plastic in between, it is safe for you to use soap and water.
- So, in case you have been wondering how to disinfect them, simply scrub them down with some soap and water thoroughly.
If you want to clean eggs, avoid soap and water and use just water to rinse them off instead.
Accessory tips to keep in mind while grocery shopping
- While we have cleared out all the common insights that you need to know about, there are some important factors that you need to keep in mind aside from these.
- Avoid going out of the house if you have some of the symptoms including fever, cough or cold. Ask someone else to go for the grocery run instead
- If you are above the age of 60, get groceries delivered to your home or ask someone else to get them for you
- Clean all the surfaces and the frequently touched spaces like door handles and light switches
- Maintain social distancing when out on a grocery run
If you have been wondering how to clean groceries during coronavirus, we hope this gives you a better understanding of things. Leaving everything to chance is the last thing you want. In such times of uncertainty, it is quite important that you focus on abiding by the steps and practice better precautions. It is necessary that you keep yourself safe and keep the ones around you safe as well. Prioritise your personal hygiene as well.