Groceries are a vital resource which calls for leaving the confines of our houses and going to stores to pick up the essentials. While wearing masks, sanitizing hands before and after the visit and maintaining at least a 2-metre distance from others at the store are essential, but one must also take care to clean the groceries that they purchase.
Grocery items, while sitting on shelves make contact with the hands of so many customers. Just like staircase support, doorknobs or elevator buttons, they are high-contact areas. This calls for a little caution while handling these daily essentials.
Here are some tips on handling and cleaning groceries that can help you keep things safe, once they are brought home from the store-
- Have a designated area for unloading and storing groceries. This is basically a containment practice in order to stop the spread to other areas.
- Wash all unpackaged organic items such as fruits and vegetables, you can also wash canned goods if you have any.
- Wash your hands after unpacking and storing all your items. Also, clean the table or surface on which the groceries were unpacked and assorted. Wash your hands again after doing this.
- Any kind of paper or disposal bags should be disposed of immediately
Precautions for high-risk category
If you are living with or are someone who falls under the high-risk category (elderly persons, people with pre-existing conditions and those living in red zones), then extra care and precautions should be taken while handling groceries-
- Wipe down all packaged and canned goods with a mild disinfectant and then transfer the items into clean containers. The remaining packages should be safely disposed of.
- Fruits and vegetables should be washed well under running water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to ensure no soap residue.
- If you have the facility to get groceries delivered to your home and if your service provider follows contactless delivery then, then it adds another layer of safety as you don’t have to step outside.
These are some of the important precautionary measures that should be taken while handling groceries. The key thing to keep in mind is to be cautious about the kind of surfaces we are coming in contact with and how exposed they are. We cannot avoid venturing out for essentials but we can ensure that we take all the necessary precautions with our essentials so that they do not become a source of contagion.