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We should wash our fruit and veg with soap to stop coronavirus spread, says virus expert

Readers Lounge - By Mirror | March 27th 2020 at 08:05:00 GMT +0300
Experts say we should be washing our fruit and veg with soap and water (Image: Shutterstock)

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we've all been much more conscious about keeping things clean - whether that's our hands or our surfaces.

Initial reports found that coronavirus lives on copper for four hours, cardboard for 24 hours, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

But, what we want to know is how this impacts other items such as our fruit and vegetables.

In the supermarkets a lot of the fruit and veg we buy is sold loose, this means that people are able to pick and choose which piece looks the best.

However, this also means that the chances of picking up a piece of fruit that someone has already picked up once, before deciding they didn't want, is extremely high.

Timothy Newsome, a Virologist at the University of Sydney, said that "every surface has a hazard” - including your food.

However he adds that “you cannot get risk down to zero".

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Speaking to news.com.au he explained: "It should be recognised the virus can survive on many surfaces quite stably, sometimes for a number of days.

"But really, the only surface it really doesn’t like is copper, which is not very useful in our day-to-day life."

A lot of fruit and veg is sold loose (Image: Shutterstock)

He continued by saying that supermarkets are a "low risk environment", as cashiers have been wearing gloves and regularly sanitising all equipment.

But of course there is still some risk, so to stop the spread of germs Timothy suggests: "The best course of action is to wash your fruit and vegetables with soap as soon as you bring them home.

“Wash them with warm soapy water, just as you do your hands.”

The expert added: "The actual transmission events that we have described are sustained in close contact between people.

"We didn’t see the kinds of reduction in some of the countries that have been a bit more successful in managing the outbreaks if it was that level of contagious."

So there you have it folks, remember to always be mindful of what you're touching and make sure to keep washing your hands and wiping down surfaces and items in the home - including your fruit and vegetables.

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