Do You Need to Wipe Down Groceries or Food Packaging to Save Yourself from COVID-19?

Has wiping down groceries and food packaging with disinfectants or alcohol wipes become a part of your day to day life now? Is it adding to your stress and fear of the COVID-19? But looks like there is no reason to worry about it. Even the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is re-emphasizing there’s no real risk of getting the virus that causes Covid-19 that way.

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Jamie Lloyd-Smith is one of the scientists who worked on the only study to analyze how long SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, might remain on various surfaces. Looks like the scientist himself does NOT disinfect his groceries. “I don’t, personally,” Lloyd-Wright said. “I treat my hands as potentially contaminated while I’m handling the groceries and unpacking them and I make sure that I wash them fully when I’m done with that process.”

Because the odds of someone coming along and depositing enough virus on a grocery item or takeout container are pretty low, “I view it as sort of a hypothetical risk,” Lloyd-Smith said.
“So yes, I’m careful, I’ll wash my hands, but I don’t sort of regard it as glowing radioactively with virus.”
His advice might change, said Lloyd-Smith, if the person was at high risk from the virus, such as elderly or immunocompromised. “One reasonable and easy-to-implement precaution for groceries that don’t need refrigeration is simply to let them sit for a day or more before unpacking them,” he said. “This will vastly reduce the level of any contamination that is present.”
Virologist Dr. John Williams, who has studied coronaviruses for decades, is also not overly concerned.
“Personally, we’re alternating cooking food at home and getting takeout food for a houseful of kids home from college right now,” Williams said. “And we’re not wiping down the containers from the restaurant.”
Remember, it is important to keep washing your hands. Wash your groceries or not, but remember to wash your hands because that, and social distancing, are your greatest defense against the virus.
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