I know everyone is concerned with making sure they don’t get the Coronavirus. And some people are worried about getting it from their food at the grocery store (or take-out). I’m here to teach how to properly clean your groceries to reduce your risk of getting any kind of germ from the store. (All of this is backed by the latest research, by the way.)
- To wash your fruits and vegetables, rub them under running water in the sink. The action of rubbing is what removes dirt, bacteria, and viruses from the skin. Do the same for fruits and vegetables that you don’t eat the skin (watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, etc.). For small fruits, like berries, wash them under running water in a colander or you can submerge in water and swish them around. This is also a good technique for leafy greens. After submerging in water and shaking, rinse them off.
- Do not use soap to wash your fruits and vegetables. Using soap is not necessary to clean your produce and the residue may even upset your stomach.
- You will not get sick from eating fruits and vegetables and so they do not need to be “sanitized.” The COVID-19 virus is not transferred from food. Let’s just say that somehow some virus got on your fruit from someone else in the grocery store (which probably won’t happen). There will not be enough of the virus on your fruit to make you sick. The virus is spread by close contact with infected people.
- Bottom-line: The absolute best prevention is to wash your fruits and vegetables with running water while rubbing them with your hands to wipe off any dirt and germs.
- As for your other groceries, there is no need to wipe down these foods, even if you are immune-comprised. Again, the virus does not live on these items and even if it did, there is not enough to infect you. If you insist on being 100% sure, then leave them in the garage or outside (if they are non-perishable) for 24 hrs. Research has found that heat and humidity kill the virus.
- Bottom-line, please don’t stress about your food and waste your time on sanitizing with bleach solutions. The best thing you can do is wash your hands. There is no better way to keep you healthy than to wash your hands after coming home from the grocery store, after putting your groceries away, before preparing food, and before eating.
I hope you are all enduring this pandemic well. I want to remind you that I and my other dietitians are here for you. To schedule your telehealth session from the comfort of your own home or office, please click here. We are here to help you navigate your new normal and how to adapt your eating and exercise routines.