Do you need to disinfect the packaging and how safe are reusable bags?
Don Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers University, posted a thread on Twitter about buying and processing food during a pandemic. He noted that more and more information from incompetent sources is now appearing on the Web, and different advice can not only raise panic but also hurt. In his opinion, the most dangerous thing is recommendations from doctors who have nothing to do with microbiology and food.
“I am a food microbiologist. Would you like to hear from me tips on how to treat children? Unlikely. And that is why you should not listen to advice on food hygiene or microbiology from doctors who are completely unaware in this area.”
First of all, he told whether purchases should be disinfected: “Is it worth disinfecting the packaging of products? I do not think that this has any scientific justification. It is better to wash your hands if you took something from a potentially infected package — and this rule does not work only during a pandemic. Always wash your hands and/or treat them with an antiseptic before eating. ”
He further explained how to wash fruits and vegetables — and there is absolutely nothing complicated.
- Wash fruits and vegetables with cold water, soap can not be used for this.
- There is no evidence that specialized fruit and vegetable cleansers somehow affect SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. Most of them are not more effective than ordinary water. Nevertheless, if you feel better about it and you don’t mind spending a few dollars, you can use such funds.
- Similarly, there is no evidence that washing with vinegar helps kill more bacteria than washing with water. Better leave the vinegar to cook.
Schaffner also told how to procure to minimize risk.
- Treat your hands with an antiseptic before entering the supermarket and after you leave it. Large stores now hang antiseptic dispensers at the entrance — feel free to use them.
- Try to spend as little time as possible in the store and do not contact other people. Make a shopping list and go to a familiar store where you are well oriented so as not to waste time looking for the right department.
- Reusable bags, shoppers or string bags can be used, but do not forget to wash them regularly. However, this rule also works outside the pandemic. When you get the groceries, it’s better to store such bags in the trunk of a car.
- After you make out purchases, wash your hands again.
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