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How to disinfect your food shop during coronavirus

Readers Lounge By Audrey Masitsa
Glass and stainless steel containers can be disinfected (Photo: Shutterstock)

We’re all taking extra precautions to slow the spread of the coronavirus by washing hands, practicing social distancing and disinfecting our surroundings. 

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The process of going to stock up on foodstuff has changed in that apart from getting the essentials, we’re also taking extra precaution to ensure that we don’t bring any traces of the virus into our homes. 

The World Health Organisation has stated that the virus can be transmitted from person to person when we touch contaminated surfaces. This is particularly worrying when you’re bringing in goods from outside and you don’t know who has been touching them.

Most susceptible surfaces

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the coronavirus can last up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel surfaces and up to 24 hours on cardboard. 

Since the majority of the foodstuff we buy comes in either a plastic bag, stainless steel can or cardboard box, there is a need to be extra careful when you bring your shopping home.

 Wash fresh produce in plain water before storing them (Photo: Shutterstock)

Supermarket-bought goods

For pre-packaged goods such as flours, grains, pasta and condiments, it is best to transfer them into clean containers. 

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You can disinfect containers made from non-porous materials like glass and metal by using a solution of water and disinfectant or using wipes.

Fresh produce

According to the European Food Safety Authority, the virus does not get transferred through food or produce. Thus, just washing your fruits and vegetables with plain water before you store them is enough. If you choose to be extra cautious, you can use soap and water to clean your produce but make sure you rinse them well.

Remember to take extra precautions when you come from outside. Wash your hands thoroughly, keep shopping in a designated area of your kitchen until you have time to clean it, launder your clothes, leave your shoes outside and disinfect any surfaces that you touched.

It’s important to clean your kitchen frequently, paying particular attention to those surfaces that are touched frequently such as cabinet handles, the fridge door and countertops


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