COVID-19: How To Sanitise Your Groceries, Food Deliveries & Other Packages


The COVID-19 pandemic has us all on edge. But how much do we really need to be sanitising our groceries and other home deliveries? Is that bunch of bananas you bought going to get you sick? Most likely not, so long as you follow basic hygiene practices. To help you figure out what needs to be washed down and what doesn’t, we’ve put together a quick guide. So, get out your disinfectant spray and good luck out there! 

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Groceries 

Even though we’ve been in lockdown for over 60 days, many of us have ventured out to do grocery shopping. The precautions to take while grocery shopping take up another whole article, which you can read here, but what happens when you get back home? The verdict is still out on how long the COVID-19 virus is able to survive on surfaces like plastic, cardboard and fabric. However, many scientists suggest that it may not be necessary to sanitise your groceries. What is important is to use reusable shopping bags, which should be washed in hot water with soap after every trip to the store. You should also wash your hands before and immediately after packing away your groceries and avoid touching your face while you do so. Pick a designated counter to unpack your groceries out onto and make sure to wipe it down thoroughly when done.

Nevertheless, if washing down your groceries helps put your anxieties at bay, go ahead. You can use a mixture of chlorine bleach and water or a ready-made disinfectant to wipe down plastic bottles, cling wrap coverings and cardboard boxes. However, some packaging may not be able to withstand harsh chemicals, risking food contamination. Sanitise your grocery items this way instead:

  • Remove your food from its packing if you can and place it in clean Tupperware containers for storage.
  • Do not wash your fresh fruit and veggies with soap and water. Rather use cold water to rinse fresh produce, making sure to wash your hands before and after eating.
  • Items like toilet paper, shampoo and clothing can be stored in your garage or car boot for 72 hours or until you feel safe to bring them inside.
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Takeaways

Restaurants have been allowed to offer delivery and collection since level 4 lockdown was implemented at the start of May. However, fears over food contamination have remained high as people question how safe it is to have their food delivered. To allay these fears, most restaurants have executed strict contactless delivery and hygiene procedures. If you are still nervous about ordering food for delivery, you may take comfort in the fact that most takeaway containers are not made from porous materials and are therefore not likely to be a good hiding place for coronavirus germs. Still not convinced? All you need to do is stick to four simple rules:

  1. Wash your hands before collecting your food and do not touch your face.
  2. Place your food onto a clean plate and discard the takeaway container.
  3. Wipe down your counters with disinfectant or bleach.
  4. Wash your hands again and tuck in!
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Books & Clothing 

Seeing that e-commerce is now back in full swing you’ve probably been shopping up a storm online. This is a great way to practice physical distancing, but what are the risks involved in receiving your packages from couriers or in the mail? Much like food deliveries, your packages should be delivered by a courier wearing a mask and keeping at a distance. Most couriers also accept a simple hand gesture as confirmation that you’ve received your parcel these days instead of a signature. If you’re nervous about bringing your packages inside, remove the items from their packaging outside and discard of it. Again, don’t touch your face before washing your hands.

For obvious reasons, you cannot spray down books or sensitive clothing items. Leave your books to themselves for 72 hours if you can or simply avoid touching your face while reading (this could be difficult if you’ve ordered a really exciting thriller, but try anyway). Wash clothes immediately after you’ve unboxed them, using hot water and soap if the fabric allows. Iron your clothes before wearing them too, if possible. You can imagine your iron obliterating all COVID-19 germies if that makes you happy. Then, happily strut your stuff in your new work-from-home tracksuit and get on with your day.

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For more helpful information regarding COVID-19 statistics, health tips and ways to keep entertained in lockdown, click here. 

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