- The virus that causes COVID-19 can be viable for up to 72 hours on certain surfaces.
- Taking extra care when handling your groceries can reduce your risk of exposure.
- Experts say these simple steps can keep you safe.
All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date.
The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has many people staying at home体育投注网址 except for essential activities like seeking medical care, exercising, walking their dog, or shopping for groceries.
体育投注网址Shopping for groceries, though, carries extra risk.
体育投注网址Not only are you near other people, but many of the products you’re buying have probably been handled by others — and possibly sneezed or coughed on.
体育投注网址This doesn’t mean you should give up on trips to the supermarket. That’s not really a viable option for most of us.
But you can take a little extra care when handling your groceries to avoid spreading the virus to other people and surfaces in your house.
That’s why it’s important to stay at least 6 feet from other people at all times.
体育投注网址“Do not be afraid to ask others to step back if they are too close to you in line,” said Baker. “Or wait a few moments to grab something if others are already by the item you want.”
体育投注网址It’s not clear, though, how much of a role produce and food packaging plays in transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19.
Some surfaces may pose a bigger risk than others.
A recent in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the virus was detectable on plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours, and on cardboard for up to 24 hours.
Baker said when you’re at the supermarket, you should “assume all surfaces everywhere have been touched by someone who is sick.”
This includes produce and packaged foods.
体育投注网址“Touch just the items you intend to buy, wipe down the cart or basket handles with disinfectant wipes, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you’re done,” she said.
Baker added that many people are also reducing their potential exposure by using curbside pick-up or at-home delivery. Even local food producers are offering these services.
“Some farmers markets are allowing customers to preorder foods so they are already packaged when you come pick them up,” she said, “reducing the amount of time that you need to be near other people and reducing the amount of items that you can touch.”
If you’re concerned about potential contamination on your groceries, you can take additional steps to protect yourself.
体育投注网址“Some people may choose to wipe or wash cans and boxes of food before storing them to reduce possible virus content,” said Andress. You can also throw out disposable packaging.
体育投注网址When you’re done, she suggests that you wash any tables, countertops, or other surfaces that were touched by your groceries or grocery bags.
体育投注网址And wash your hands again.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers advice for
If you’re using cloth bags, wash them with laundry soap in a washing machine and dry them thoroughly before reusing them.
This will help slow the spread of the virus from people without symptoms or people who do not know they have contracted the virus.
Cloth face masks should be worn while continuing to practice physical distancing. Instructions for making masks at home can be found
Note: It’s critical to reserve surgical masks and N95 respirators for healthcare workers
VanWingen said that one option is to leave your groceries in your garage or porch for at least 72 hours to allow the virus to become inactive.
This isn’t possible for many people. For them, he suggests the “sterile technique.” You can also do this after letting your groceries sit outside for 72 hours.
体育投注网址A key part of VanWingen’s method is setting up a cleaning station to avoid contaminating your food or other surfaces in your house.
体育投注网址After that, it involves wiping down all packaging with a disinfectant before putting your groceries away. You can also discard packaging and transfer the food to a clean bag or container.
For fruits and vegetables, VanWingen suggests scrubbing them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
Andress cautions that the
So if you choose to use soap and water on your fruits and vegetables, rinse them completely with clean water before storing.
体育投注网址Taking these precautions with your groceries can help you lower your chance of being exposed to the virus.
If you do get sick, you’ll need to take extra care in order to
体育投注网址“If someone in your household is confirmed positive with COVID-19, showing symptoms of the disease, or awaiting the results of a test, they should take extra cleaning and disinfection steps around the home,” said Andress.