The COVID-19 pandemic has affected just about every aspect of our lives. Now, grocery shopping or ordering food can be a danger to our health. In this scary time, our well-being and the well-being of others need to be our priority. We were interviewed by Your Tango about how to get the food you need while staying safe in this pandemic.
Essentially, yes. You are safer having groceries delivered versus going to the store, in that, anytime you leave the house, you theoretically open yourself up to more opportunity for infection. Any virus can survive better in a living host than on the surface, so by entering a store, you are at higher risk. That said, you should still treat the packaging of goods delivered as a potential threat.
Consider wearing disposable gloves when handling the packaging, as the coronavirus appears to be able to survive on cardboard for at least 24 hours, and on plastic for 72 hours. Be thoughtful in either treating the packaging with antiseptic, or removing contents and placing them into a fresh, clean, sanitized container before storing.
Dispose of packages appropriately and always wash your hands after.
Remember that aerosolized virus-containing particles can be a source of infection, so covering eyes with glasses, mouth with a mask, and ears with a scarf can help prevent transmission. Don’t forget to wash these items after your shopping is complete, as they may be infected now.
Another precaution to follow— avoid touching your eyes, face, mouth, or ears in the store or at home before you have washed your hands and finished taking care of your groceries.
While we have no evidence that the virus is being transmitted via food, remember that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. So it is best to avoid places like salad bars and pastry cabinets.
Patrick Hardy, emergency planning expert, and Frank Curto share some tips to consider. Curto is the head of quality and regulatory at Territory Foods as well as a former employee of USDA.
While is it difficult to remove 100% of viral transmissions, following these guidelines will help reduce exposure greatly. Another measure you can take for your health is boosting your immune system. We can all make a difference. Stay safe and cautious.