This is the third blog in a series on Stay Safe During The Pandemic.
How long will coronavirus, COVID-19 last on surfaces?
Do we need to wash our groceries?
What do you need to do to stay safe with home deliveries and take-out food?
Do you wonder about these questions or even have debates about them with family and friends? This article will look at recommendations from the Canadian government and experts on these questions.
Tips From The Canadian Government For Take-out Food And Deliveries
Pay online or use contactless methods
Try to pay online when you make your order. If that is not an option, then try to pay using a contactless method by tapping your card, or using your phone to pay.
If you are going to pay by cash then both you and the delivery person should be wearing a mask, as you will have to get closer than 2 metres to hand-over the cash.
Keep a 2 metre distance
You and the delivery person should maintain a 2 metre, 6 foot distance. Most delivery people now will drop the delivery at your door, ring your doorbell and then distance themselves from the door before you open it.
If the delivery person must get close to you for a signature, as an example, or for another reason, then you should both wear masks.
Wash your hands after handling food or deliveries
Once you bring the food or delivery in the house, immediately wash your hands.
Put your food away
If the delivery was food, it should be put away as soon as possible. See the previous blog post, dated July 29, 2020 on Best Practices Against Covid In The Home To Keep Your Food Safe, for more information on the steps to follow when bringing groceries home from shopping and what to do once you are home.
Wash your hands
After putting your food away, wash your hands again.
Do not eat from takeout container
This tip is from the Mayo Clinic, Can COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread through food, water, surfaces and pets? The article states that it is best to bring your take-out food home, wash your hands, then transfer the food to a clean plate for eating. Then you should wash your hands again before your eat. If you put the take-out containers on a counter, you should wash the counter and then wash your hands again.
With these tips you will ensure that having items delivered to your home and eating take-out food is still safe.
How long will COVID-19 last on surfaces?
Research was done reported in the National Institute of Health in March 2020, New Coronavirus Stable on Surfaces For Hours, and it was also reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2020, Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1.
This research showed that generally the virus could survive on copper for up to 4 hours, cardboard for up to 24 hours and plastic and stainless steel for up to 3 days. A second study was done and published in the Lancet, Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions.
Heat Inactivates Coronavirus, COVID-19
The above study found that the virus is heat sensitive and is rendered inactive after 5 mintues at 70 C. As well, on different surfaces, the virus was no longer active after 3 hours on tissue paper, after 2 days on wood and cloth, after 4 days on glass, and after 7 days on stainless steel and plastic.
What Is The Risk Of Getting The Virus From A Surface
The chances of getting coronavirus, COVID-19, from a surface are determined to be very slim. The surface has to be contaminated by someone who is contagious, then someone else has to touch the surface while the virus is still active and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes.
If people are washing their hands whenever they touch a potentially contaminated surface and when they come home, then even if they did get the virus on their hands, they should not be able to get sick, because the handwashing would take care of that.
Should You Wash Your Groceries?
There have not been any reports of people getting the virus from their groceries and for the reasons just mentioned above, governments and experts, do not feel it is necessary for people to wash their groceries.
For example, see this article, from the CBC, Why it may be harder to catch COVID-19 from surfaces than we first thought.
The FDA and CDC, in the US, also have the same recommendation. The risk of getting coronavirus from a surface is very low. See this article for a summary, Food Safety and COVID-19: A Guide For Handling Groceries And Takeout.
The Consensus is?
The consensus from experts and the Canadian and US governments alike is that you do not need to wash your groceries. Follow all the other tips in this article and the two previous ones; Best Practices Against Covid In The Home To Keep Your Food Safe and 9 Tips On How To Stay Safe While Shopping During Covid, and you will be keeping yourself and your food safe from coronavirus, COVID-19.
What If You Want To Wash Your Groceries
If you want to wash your groceries because you feel safer or less anxious, you can do that. The Canadian and US governments feel it is not necessary to go to that amount of work, but you can do it if you want.
With the exception of fruits, vegetables, produce and any food that is in a porous type of packaging. Any kind of disinfectant, soap or cleaning chemical could be absorbed by the food and render it unsafe to eat. Do not wash these types of foods with soap.
In my blog of I covered the tips on how to wash your vegetables, fruits and produce. Check that this post, Best Practices Against Covid In The Home To Keep Your Food Safe, for more information.
Next week the fourth blog in this series, Stay Safe During The Pandemic, will look at how to make your own disinfectant and santizing solutions, how to clean with soap and water, and general cleaning tips for your kitchen and home.
Check out my video on this topic:
Check out posts on other topics here: Blog Table of Contents.
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