April 28, 2020
Let me cut right to the chase: you don’t need to treat your groceries like you are defusing a bomb. Unless you are in a high risk category, such as immunocompromised during cancer treatment, you can take minimal steps in safely bringing food into your home.
There is no current evidence showing that food or the packaging around food has been a source of transmitting Covid-19 infection, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In other words, handling your groceries and take-out food deliveries is very low risk when it comes to this virus.
Whether you are shopping for groceries or running other essential errands, the same basic hygiene principals apply:
- If you are sick, stay home and have a different family member shop
- Consider using online ordering or curbside pickup of foods and other essentials
- Limit trips to limit your exposures
- Pay with touchless methods, if possible
- Wash your hands or use sanitizer after shopping or handling deliveries
- If shopping in person:
- Maintain social distancing of 6 feet
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face mask
- Disinfect shopping cart handles
- Avoid busy shopping times
- Utilize special hours for those who are older or at higher risk (if applicable)
- Do not touch your face
- Gloves are not necessary; it’s more important to wash your hands after shopping (although gloves can serve as a reminder to not touch your face)
- Wash or sanitize your hands after being in a store
If you are in a normal risk category for Covid-19, it is enough to practice excellent hand hygiene when unpacking groceries. This means washing your hands after putting groceries away. For foods that don’t need to be refrigerated, you could let them sit for a day before unpacking. This virus only lives on cardboard surfaces for 24 hours.
Also, wash down countertops or other surfaces after putting groceries away. Food safety rules haven’t changed for the fresh fruits and veggies themselves. This virus is not food-borne! Rinse or clean as you always have before eating or preparing fresh foods.
For elderly or immune-compromised individuals, consider adding in just one more step: wipe down the outside of containers with a disinfectant wipe.
Food has always been a source of nourishment and comfort. Let it continue in that role during this pandemic.
Remember, you can count on BioPlus in these tough times, and in the better days ahead.