There are so many new recommended safety measures that have been put in place to protect the population from coronavirus, like washing hands, social distancing, and only leaving the house for essential items. But once you get those essential items, should they be wiped down to help keep you and your family coronavirus free?
According to People, experts are divided.
Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist, doesn’t think it’s necessary. Instead, she recommends wiping down your cart, using-self checkout, and washing your hands the second you get home.
Dr. William Haseltine, an infectious disease expert, agrees. He believed sanitizing the packaging of products was “a little too much,” as he says that they pose a low risk for transmission. He adds, “If you’re really worried about that, wear gloves when you open the packages. Other than that, I wouldn’t worry about it.” He also suggests that for produce, washing them with soap is beneficial.
Vicky Nguyen, NBC’s investigative and consumer correspondent, thinks food should be wiped down, especially fruit. In addition, “for paper and plastic products, she recommended leaving them in a special place for a day, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the virus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours and plastic for up to 72 hours.”
Lastly, Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, the director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, explains, “There is almost no evidence that implicates that food as a vehicle for causing this disease. The evidence we have is still largely person-to-person transmission.”
As we’ve heard often throughout this epidemic, it can’t hurt to wash your hands as often as possible. And per Consumer Reports, you should wash your hands, counter, and other surfaces you’ve touched after you’ve put away the groceries. Using a disinfectant isn’t necessary unless you’re sharing a space with someone who is exhibiting signs of respiratory illness or has been exposed to the virus.