The new coronavirus, COVID-19, has many people staying at home except for essential activities like seeking medical care, exercising, walking their dog, or shopping for groceries.
Shopping for groceries, though, carries extra risk.
You can reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19 whenever you leave your house by taking precautions such as practicing social distancing and washing your hands thoroughly and often.
Although we are washing our hands thoroughly after we come in from outside, do we also have to clean and disinfect everything that comes in from outside like groceries? The answer is Yes!
Why clean groceries and other items
Viruses, as you know, can only grow and multiply inside a living host. But the bad news is, they can remain alive for anything between a couple of hours to a few days on different kinds of non-living things.
But how long can the new coronavirus survive on surfaces?
Let us take a look
- Cardboard & Paper – 24 hours
- Plastic & Stainless steel – 72 hours
- Copper – 4 hours
- Air – 3 hour
This means the virus enter into your home through the things you purchase.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to minimizing your risk of COVID-19 exposure from food & groceries:
- Foods and groceries and anything that you order online come into your house packaged into cardboard boxes. Similarly, when you go grocery shopping, you store them into paper or plastic bags.
- In the market, many people touch the fruits, vegetables or other things that you finally end up buying. If anyone of them has the infection, the viruses could be present on the surface of the foods or there could be traces of the virus on the packaging as well.
- When you go out to purchase, you may accidentally touch something that was earlier handled by an infected person.
Guide to prevent COVID-19 from entering your house
- When food or groceries are delivered to your home, tear off the cardboard or plastic packaging and let someone with clean hands draw the products out and bring them inside your home
- Keep a waste bin outside and dispose of the package. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
- If you are going to the market or grocery store, take a jute or nylon grocery bag with you, so that you can easily wash your bag after getting home
- The viruses can survive for a while on your fruits and vegetables. So they need to be disinfected.
- Soak them in water for 5 minutes and then rinse them with a drop of hand wash. Or simply scrub them for 20 seconds under running water.
- Rinse the counter or tabletop where you had set down your purchases.
If your food is present in a tin or plastic container, wash it with soap and water.
- Clean your phone cover with cotton wool and alcohol-based solution when you come home.
- Try not to pay with cash as it changes hands numerous times. A banknote may contain the virus. Use online transactions wherever possible.
- Wash your clothes with water and detergent as soon as you come in. And don’t let anyone come in contact with you until you have cleaned yourself.
Tips to keep in mind
- If you are experiencing any symptoms, then avoid going out for shopping essentials. Ask someone else in the family to go and maintain social distancing.
- People above the age of 60 are advised to get their groceries delivered. Ask the delivery person to leave the bags outside.
- Clean high-touch surfaces at home regularly. These include the likes of door knobs and light switches.Stay indoors and stay safe.
- Maintain social distancing and avoid going out unless entirely necessary.
- Make a habit of washing your hands before and after washing groceries in coronavirus pandemic
Stay home & stay safe. Maintain personal hygiene. Washing your hands and groceries before and after cooking is the best practice to follow at home during this coronavirus pandemic, Stick with it.
This measure is as important as social distancing. Be safe!!