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Coronavirus: Tips On How To Clean Your Groceries

As most of the countries are under lockdown right now, stay-at-home orders which include online grocery shopping has become the most convenient method to buy groceries. Also, many people are stocking up groceries and other essentials. But, what's the safest way to do grocery shopping and what should you do once you brought them home?

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is not believed to be transmitted through food, but it can stay on surfaces, like plastics or cardboard used for food packaging which may have been touched by a sick person. So, it is important to take extra care and other precautionary measures while doing grocery shopping as well as handling and storing groceries at home.

How To Do Grocery Shopping Safely During The Lockdown? [1]

  • The healthiest person of the family should go out to buy groceries and other essential items.
  • Carry a sanitiser with you when going out for grocery shopping.
  • Wear gloves while holding fruits and vegetables as many hands are touching them and discard them after using it.
  • Sanitise or wash hands after touching shopping carts, handles or payment machines.
  • If possible, consider doing online transaction instead of exchanging currency notes.
  • Once back home, leave your grocery bag outside and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

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How To Clean Your Groceries?

  • Wipe the boxes or cans containing food with a wet cloth or wash it before storing them to reduce possible virus content.
  • Wash your fruits and vegetables well under running water for at least 20 to 30 seconds and for vegetables like potatoes and carrots use a brush to scrub it with water and leave it to dry.
  • After washing your hands discard the container of the groceries in a closed dustbin and wash your hands again after you discarded it.
  • After you are done washing your fruits and vegetables keep them on a clean countertop or keep them inside a fridge.

Note: Avoid washing fruits and vegetables with soap and water as it can contaminate the food and upon consumption can lead to diarrhoea or vomiting. If you are using cloth bags, wash them in soap and water and dry them thoroughly before using them again.

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Q. What precautions should I take when preparing food?

A. If you consume foods soon after unpacked them, practice good hygiene methods before preparing your food such as washing your hands with soap and water before touching the food, washing the fruits and veggies under running water and cleaning the countertop before you cut the fruits and veggies.

Q. If I deliver food to a relative or friend in isolation, what safety precautions should I take?

A. Firstly, if you show any symptoms avoid sharing your food with anyone. If your friend or relative is in isolation, wear a mask while delivering food.

Q. If I have a take-away delivered, what should I do to make sure it's safe?

A. Wash your hands before and after handling the food package.

Q. Should I wash my reusable shopping bag after each use?

A. During this crucial situation, it is essential to wash your shopping bag with soap and water and if you are using a plastic shopping bag discard it after use.

Story first published: Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 17:00 [IST]