How to Disinfect Groceries During COVID-19

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Food handlers at grocery stores, meatpacking plants, fast food restaurants, and delivery services have tested positive for COVID-19.  This raises a concern that the virus is being passed on through food handling or other shoppers touching groceries during their shopping trips. It’s more important than ever that you know how to properly disinfect your groceries and take-out food during COVID-19.

This INFORMATIVE VIDEO by a family doctor in Michigan discusses why and how you should disinfect everything you purchase outside of your home, including groceries and take-out.

This video talks about why you should and how to disinfect your groceries during COVID-19, using CDC data, safe takeout food practices, and an updated practice for safe grocery shopping/handling.

Dr. VanWingen’s tips on how to disinfect groceries during COVID-19

· Wipe down your grocery cart with disinfectant.

·  Don’t touch food while shopping unless you intend to put it in your cart.

· Avoid shopping altogether if you have a fever, respiratory symptoms, or have been exposed.

·  Write a shopping list before you go so that you can be in and out, and spend the least amount of time possible in the store.

· Do not go shopping often—get at least 2 weeks of food at a time.

·  Shop for the elderly and those around you who are more at risk.

· Clean ALL of your food when it comes to your house by unbagging or unboxing it before storing it, cooking it, or eating it.

More grocery disinfecting tips

· Every disinfectant has specific directions for effective use. Check the “General Recommendations for Routine Cleaning and Disinfection of Households” section here for guidance.

·  IMPORTANT UPDATE – DO NOT use soap to wash/soak produce or any food you will ingest. Instead, wash under clean running water while scrubbing at the surface. Click here for guidance.

· Store all frozen and refrigerated foods first after shopping to keep their temperature safe.

·  WASH ALL PRODUCE before storing, even those you will peel or scoop such as bananas, oranges, and avocados.

· YES, wash organic produce as well!

·  Consider wearing a mask/covering when shopping.

Don’t forget disinfection basics

Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands!  Check out this great resource, Handwashing: A Healthy Habit in the Kitchen.

Distance from others! – check out this graphic and share it you’re your kids!

This is a guest post by Donna Emanuel Rosenbaum of Food Safety Partners.

Click here for her first post on food safety during COVID-19.

Donna Rosenbaum is the CEO and lead consultant for Food Safety Partners, Ltd. of Northbrook, Illinois. Food Safety Partners is a national food safety consulting firm that specializes in consumer-based projects. She became devoted to food safety in 1992 when E. coli disease claimed the life of her daughter’s best friend as the first victim in the Jack in the Box outbreak.  

Email her at donna.foodsafety@gmail.com.

Stay well!

Written by: Donna Emanuel Rosenbaum, Annie Rooker

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