How to Sanitize Groceries & Packages
Social distancing is the most prevalent and effective way to flatten the curve right now. Yes!
So please #stayathome.
But what about the inanimate objects that you get delivered to your doorstep?
What do you need to do with the groceries you order and the packages Amazon is bringing to you?
Let’s Understand What Contactless Delivery Means:
Most deliveries are being made contact-less.
You prepay electronically online and the goods are delivered to your doorstep. The delivery personnel takes care to ensure that you do not come in contact with them. They may ring your door-bell and leave your delivery at your door.
Some apps allow the delivery person to share an image of the parcels left at your doorstep. Once notified through the app, you can go out and get them at your convenience.
While this reduces the risk of contracting the Coronavirus from a potentially infected human being (the delivery person), what about the risk of droplets on the packaging?
How Long Does the Coronavirus Last on Surfaces & Can These Surfaces Infect You?
According to WHO, the Novel Coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 behaves similarly to other coronaviruses.
The virus can last on surfaces from a few hours to several days based on the nature of the surface, the temperature of the contact surface, and the humidity in the atmosphere.
COVID-19 is spread through droplets. Thus if someone infected sneezes on your package and the conditions are right - you may infect yourself.
In general steel surfaces are more prone to contamination than say cardboard packaging.
What About Groceries? Do You Need to Sanitize Them?
The short answer is no, sanitizing is not needed. The chances of you getting infected through perishables and non-perishables is insignificant.
In a statement on March 24, Frank Yiannas, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response, said, “There is no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.”
Best Practices for Handling Groceries, Take-out and Delivered Packages:
- Let’s talk about groceries. Always wash perishables like fresh fruits, vegetables, and animal protein with warm to hot water. Soaking fruits and veggies in warm water and a few drops to a capful of vinegar can help clean them more efficiently.
- For canned and tinned goods - sanitize the tins with disinfectant wipes or spray.
- If you have reusable grocery bags, wash them with a few capfuls of a good quality disinfectant.
- Talking about take-out - the best thing to do is to transfer the food to a separate clean plate, and then enjoy your meal.
- Packages that do not contain food or grocery items could be sprayed with a disinfectant and left aside. Packaging that is cardboard can also be sprayed and left to dry
- If the package is made of steel - spray and wipe down with a disinfectant
The COVID-19 spreads through human contact. Primarily!
For the rest, common-sense rules.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap for twenty seconds after handling deliveries. And discard the packages or plastic bags items come in.