Expert advice is to wash our hands as often as possible, to sanitise frequently touched items, and to try not to touch our faces. Think of all the products picked up and put back by other shoppers… surely some of the items you buy have been touched by another member of the public? Even a quick graze of the can of beans behind the one you pick up could be enough to leave coronavirus droplets. Worryingly, the virus can apparently survive for up to 72 hours on hard, shiny surfaces. So should we should be sanitising our shopping before we bring it into our homes?
Should I sanitise my shopping?
There is currently no NHS advice for sanitising your food shopping.
The NHS website’s coronavirus page says: “It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.”
The biggest risk is posed from face to face interactions, so the tricky part is making sure you stay two meters away from everyone in the supermarket, or the delivery person.
Handles, trolleys, baskets, and self check-out machines are just as dangerous.
You don’t really need to sanitise your shopping but there is no harm in doing so if you feel particularly worried.
The most important thing to do is wash your hands before eating.
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Is there a risk of my food shopping being infected?
While there is a very low risk that your shopping will carry the virus into your home, expert advice says that the virus can live on surfaces like cardboard for around 24 hours.
Plastic is reportedly another great place for coronavirus to harbour.Because of this, it is understandable if you want to wipe items down before you use them.
How to sanitise your shopping
Bring your own bags from home into the shops, and clean them straight away when you get home.
This can be done with antibacterial wipes or simply by popping the bag into the washing machine.
Wash your hands when you step through the door too.
Get rid of any unnecessary packaging immediately and use your own containers instead.
You can wipe down any tins or plastic, but make sure not to wash any food with soap.
Wash your fruit and veg as normal with water.
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Should I leave my food shopping outside?
American physician Dr Jeffrey VanWingen suggests leaving your shopping outside your home for three days.
If possible, you could leave them in your porch, in your garage, or in an entryway.
This could save you from bringing the virus into your home, he said.
VanWingen told his Youtube followers: “When you go out to get your groceries, and you bring them home, try not to bring them into your house unless you absolutely need them.”
If you have your shopping delivered, you could ask the delivery person to drop them outside your door and you can bring them in a couple of days later.
How else can I stay safe while shopping?
Bring antiseptic wipes on your trip and wipe down the trolley handle before you use it.
You must commit to what you pick up, which means that you can’t take an item from the shelf and then put it back.
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