See my earlier blog on when going to the store: Staying Safe: Before You Go to the Store.
Now that you have gotten your items, how do you make sure you mitigate the risk of bringing something into your home? Here are a few tips on how to sanitize yourself and your supplies when coming home from the store
- Wash your hands: You should wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after handling food packaging.
- Don’t leave your food outside: Although some people on social media have suggested leaving your groceries in your garage for three days to kill the virus, this is bad advice. Not only is it not scientifically proven, it’s also a food safety issue. Leaving food outside, in your garage or car, may mean that the food is not stored at the proper temperature to prevent bacterial growth; and it could also increase the risk of pests such as rodents.
- Rinse your produce: It’s always a good idea — even when there’s no pandemic — to rinse fresh fruit and vegetables with water to remove dirt, debris, and pesticides, and reduce levels of foodborne germs.
- Don’t use soap on your food: There’s no need to use soap or chemical disinfectants on your produce, Chapman said. Dish soap is not approved for use on foods, and consuming it could lead to nausea and upset stomach.
- Wash reusable bags: If you use reusable grocery bags (although some states, such as Massachusetts, have banned reusable shopping bags during the pandemic), you should wash them after a trip to the store, either by putting them in the laundry (for cloth bags) or using soap or other disinfectants for plastic bags.