It is primarily believed that food is not a vector of COVID-19. However, there is still a great need to observe hygienic practices for consuming raw foods like fruits, veggies, etc during this period. This calls for utmost attention and that you should know the nitty-gritty of cleaning every kind of food product you purchase at the grocery store.
Health professionals advise that one of the best ways to curb the spread of COVID-19 is by regularly washing your hands and limiting physical contact with others as much as you can.
So when grocery shopping, you have to take utmost care; make sure you protect yourself and keep your distance from other shoppers. Also, keep in mind that everything you purchase holds the potential to be contaminated by other shoppers.
Follow this step by step guide when you return home after rehearsal purchase:
Drop the bags in an unsanitized area that you have must keep cordoned off to prevent cross-contamination. Remember, the task is to picture everything coming from outside as potentially holding the virus.
So, take your shoes off, wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds, and preferably get a change of clothes.
Remember not to transfer the dirty things outside of that cordoned area unless they are getting sanitized; this includes your shoes and the groceries.
When ready, clean your shoes as required and keep them out to dry.
Packaged Groceries: Many products are bought with extra packaging; it could be a box or nylon. Whichever it is, it serves as a protective outer shell, so throw it out. For such products, do the following:
If the product has only one protective shell, for example, a glass jar of peanut butter, you can wash it with soap.
Tip: wash your hands intermittently as you transfer each product from the unsanitized area to the clean one. If you don't want to wash your hands repeatedly, then wear disposable gloves that you can remove after handling each product.
Alternately, you can choose to wipe packaged products down with a cleaner and cloth instead of going for a full wash.
For grain items like cereals and rice, it is recommended that you pour them into new sanitized containers; this is easy to do and will serve future purposes.
Before proceeding to the next step, make sure your hands are clean; wash them for 20 seconds with soap.
Fresh Produce: These include plant produce like fruits and vegetables. These hold a little potential of transferring COVID-19 because they are typically left in the open.
However, when it comes to cleaning such products, you must know that soap should never be used. This is essential information that you should share with everyone you know because when ingested, soaps can irritate your gut or cause nausea and diarrhea.
Instead, take the next few steps, FDA-approved, to clean produce:
Wash the items under cold water. For vegetables, you can use a vegetable brush to get rid of dirt quicker.
After washing, dry the items using a paper towel then keep them in a sanitized area. Drying the produce limits or stops the growth of microbes, making the fruits and veggies fresher for longer.
Tip: ditch worries of water not being enough to kill germs when it comes to food. Science has proven that viruses can't survive for long on porous surfaces like plants and that you have higher chances of getting sick from eating with dirty hands rather than from the food itself.