How to Keep Food Safe During Coronavirus Pandemic

Tips include plan your trip so you can minimize how much time you spend in the store while also just try to get two week’s worth of groceries

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People have been stocking up on groceries, but one doctor is sharing some tips on grocery shopping safely and answering the question: “Should we be rinsing all of our groceries?”

‘When you’re out in the store, it’s not just about wiping down the shopping cart handle with a wipe, we need to do more than that,” said primary care Doctor Jeffrey VanWingen.

Dr. VanWingen is a family physician in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He filmed a 13 minute video that has now been viewed more than 23 million times since he posted it on YouTube on March 24th.

He’s offering the following tips when it comes to food safety amid the coronavirus pandemic:

  • When you’re at the grocery store, only pick up what you’re going to buy so that you are not touching a ton of products.
  • Plan your trip so you can minimize the time you spend in the store
  • Try to get 2 weeks worth of groceries

"One side of the table is going to be my clean side,” Dr. VanWingen said as he encourages you not to cross-contaminate.

Research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says particles can live up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 3 days on plastic. Dr. VanWingen encourages consumers to:

  • Wipe down plastics
  • Sanitize the counter before bringing in the groceries
  • Get rid of external packaging like the boxes
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables
  • Disinfect things like the canned goods, chip bags

“Fortunately, you do not need to worry about the take food. Coronavirus does not live well on food but it’s the wrappers I’m more concerned about,” the doctor says in the now viral YouTube video.

He encourages you to take it out of the packaging and put it directly on a plate.

Meanwhile, the FDA says there is currently no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of Covid-19. The CDC said 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.

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