Here’s How to Clean Up Your Food During the COVID-19 Outbreak | Instant News

By Shawn Radcliffe

CDC recommend a that everyone wears face masks in public places where it is difficult to keep a distance of 6 feet from others. This will help slow the spread of the virus from people without symptoms or people who do not know that they have contracted the virus. A cloth face mask must be worn while continuing to practice maintaining social distance. Instructions for making masks at home can be found here. note: It is very important to order surgical masks and N95 respirators for healthcare workers.

The new Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has many people stay at home except for important activities such as seeking medical care, exercising, walking with their dogs, or shopping for groceries.

You can reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 each time you leave your home by taking precautions such as training social distance and wash your hands thorough and often.

However, grocery shopping, carries extra risk.

Not only are you close to other people, but many of the products you buy may have been handled by someone else – and maybe sneeze or cough.

This does not mean you have to give up on the way to the supermarket. That is actually not a viable choice for most of us.

But you can be a little careful when handling food ingredients to avoid spreading the virus to other people and surfaces in your home.

How Big is the Risk of Food?

Charlotte Baker, DrPH, MPH, assistant professor of epidemiology at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, said your biggest risk at the supermarket is making close contact with other people who are sick.

That’s why it’s important to stay at least 6 feet from other people at all times.

“Don’t be afraid to ask others to back down if they are too close to you,” Baker said. “Or wait a few moments to pick something up if someone else has chosen the item you want.”

However, it is unclear how many roles are generated and food packaging plays a role in transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19.

Still, that World Health Organization said that besides closing person-to-person contact, people can pick up the virus by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.

Some surfaces may pose a greater risk than others.

Recently study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that viruses can be detected in plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours, and in cardboard boxes for up to 24 hours.

Baker said when you were at the supermarket, you had to “assume all surfaces everywhere have been touched by someone who is sick.”

This includes food that is produced and packaged.

“Touch only the items you want to buy, clean the basket or handle of the basket with disinfecting wipes, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after completion,” he said.

Baker added that many people also reduce their potential exposure by using curbside pick-ups or home delivery. Even local food producers offer this service.

“Some farmers markets allow customers to order food in advance so they are already packed when you pick it up,” he said, “reducing the amount of time you need to be near other people and reducing the amount of goods you can touch.”

Clean Your Food at Home

However you get your groceries, you must handle them carefully when you get home. This will reduce the possibility of spreading the virus to other people or surfaces in your home.

Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., a professor of food and nutrition at the University of Georgia, said at least you should wash your hands after unpacking and storing your food.

If you are worried about possible contamination of food ingredients, you can take additional steps to protect yourself.

“Some people might choose to clean or wash cans and food boxes before storing them to reduce the chance of the virus,” Andress said. You can also throw away disposable packaging.

After finishing, he recommends that you wash your table, table, or other surface that is touched by your groceries or shopping bags.

And wash your hands again.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers advice for clean and disinfect your home during a pandemic, including which cleansers work best against SARS-CoV-2.

If you use a cloth bag, wash with washing soap in the washing machine and dry thoroughly before using it again.

Cleaning Food Like a Surgeon

If you or someone in your household is at higher risk for severe disease from COVID-19, you might want to adopt a modified “sterile technique” recommended by Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen, a family doctor who practices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in this regard Youtube video.

VanWingen says that one option is to leave your groceries in your garage or terrace for at least 72 hours to allow the virus to become inactive.

This is not possible for many people. For them, he suggested “sterile technique.” You can also do this after letting your groceries sit outside for 72 hours.

An important part of the VanWingen method is to prepare a cleaning station to avoid contamination of food or other surfaces in your home.

After that, you have to clean all the packaging with disinfectant before storing your food ingredients. You can also dispose of packaging and move food to clean bags or containers.

For fruits and vegetables, VanWingen suggests rubbing them for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

Andress warned that Food and Drug Administration do not recommend using soap when cleaning the product because of the risk of swallowing.

So if you choose to use soap and water in your fruits and vegetables, rinse thoroughly with clean water before storing.

Taking these precautions with your food ingredients can help you reduce your chances of contracting the virus.

If you are sick, you must be careful to do it protect your family.

“If someone in your household is confirmed positive with COVID-19, shows symptoms of the disease, or is waiting for test results, they must take additional cleaning and disinfection steps around the house,” Andress said.

Reposted with permission from Health Line.

For detailed source information, please see the original story at Health Line.

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