How to Disinfect Groceries & Shop for Food More Safely During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: 10 Steps to Take From a Doctor by Mei Marcie

Family Health
4 years ago

We know that COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets. On the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) website, it states that "it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads."

Surfaces are everywhere, including grocery bags and the packaging that contains the groceries. Since we technically cannot rule out that these may be contaminated, here's what Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen, a family physician in Grand Rapids, Michigan, suggests to do if you are shopping for yourself or having food delivered to keep it as safe as possible. 

Tips for Shopping

  1. Wipe down the cart.
  2. Commit to what you are buying. 
  3. Don't shop if you have respiratory symptoms or have been exposed.
  4. Plan what you will buy for two weeks.

For those who use reusable grocery bags, remember to soak and wash them in hot, soapy water.

How to Disinfect Groceries

  1. Sanitize a table before bringing groceries inside. 
  2. Establish a dirty side of the table to place groceries that are coming into the house, and a clean side to place items after they’re sanitized.
  3. Use a household disinfectant spray or disinfecting wipe
  4. Disinfect plastic, glass and metal packaging. 
  5. Trash unnecessary and external packaging like cardboard boxes. 
  6. Clean fruit and vegetables that are not bought in plastic bags. Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health also suggests using a vegetable scrub brush and scrub the surface with soap and water, and to wash the scrub brush with additional soap and water after each use.

Another way to disinfect groceries is to not touch your delivery or bags for three days, but sometimes that is not practical. Watch Dr. VanWingen's helpful video above to learn more. 

The information on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.

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Elisa Schmitz
This is so helpful, Mei Marcie . Because of this video, last night when we had groceries delivered, Dieter Schmitz and I quarantined the non-perishables in our garage, and we followed the process Dr. VanWingen outlines for cleaning the perishables before putting them away. It makes perfect sense and in this crazy environment, you really can't be too careful. Thank you for sharing this!
What a great video. He has such a calm demeanor and explains it so simply.

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