General, Research, Technology

Do I need to wash the packaging of products brought from the store?

Who would have thought that someday bigpart of the population of Russia will be sitting at home and afraid to go even to the store? At the time of this writing, April 1, 2020, the COVID-19 coronavirus has infected more than 800,000 people worldwide. Since March 30, residents of Moscow and many other cities of our country can go out only if necessary to buy food or medicine in nearby stores and pharmacies. Since coronavirus particles can remain on surfaces for up to three days, the question arises - do I need to wash the packaging of products brought from the store? The answer to this question was given by the microbiologist and food safety expert Donald Schaffner.

Coronavirus particles can live on surfaces for up to 3 days, but do I need to wash food packaging?

At the moment, evidence thatcoronavirus can enter the body with food, does not exist. But many people are concerned that infected people can visit stores with hidden symptoms, and without realizing it, leave virus particles on the surfaces of their products. Since food packaging is usually made of cardboard or plastic, the virus can be stored on their surfaces for 1 to 3 days. So what - after coming from the store you need to leave food in the porch and wait for the virus to die? Of course not.

My colleague Daria Eletskaya recently wrote about how many hours the coronavirus remains in the air and surfaces. I recommend reading her material, because it is important for everyone to know.

Food disinfection

According to Donald Schaffner, if people willThrow purchased products in a closet or on the balcony, they can go bad there. As a result, many can get food poisoning. There is some truth in his words, because most products, such as fresh meat, should be put in the freezer or refrigerator as soon as possible. The first thing you should do after washing from the store is to wash your hands and face with soap, and even better, treat them with an antibacterial agent. Then, purchased products can be pulled one by one from the bag and washed under running water. If the package is tight, it can be additionally wiped with an antiseptic, because it certainly will not be worse. Products can only be refrigerated after thorough washing, because when dirty they can touch other products and transmit viruses.

Food needs to be stored in the refrigerator during a pandemic - you don’t want to go spoiled food?

Fresh fruits and vegetables require a separate approach. According to the ScienceAlert scientific publication, washing such products with soap is not worth it because ingesting soap particles in the human body can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. But in the current circumstances you can use soap, the main thing is to thoroughly rinse the products after washing. Instead of soap, you can use baking soda. It is believed that it kills bacteria well - do not forget that in addition to the acclaimed coronavirus, pathogens still exist in the world. Wash hands and products thoroughly it was always necessary, only now the importance of this, many people realized only after the pandemic.

Read the rules for washing food inmaterial from Lyubov Sokovikova. It says in detail how to wash fruits, vegetables, eggs and all other products that we buy in stores.

Do I need to wash bags?

Can coronavirus spread throughpackages from stores, today no one knows. Donald Schaffner's advice is simple - if they bother you, you can wash them. This is especially true for reusable bags made of durable materials that can be wiped with a damp cloth or antiseptic. Fabric bags can be machine washed, and disposable bags can simply be thrown away.

Here is what founder Mikhail Korolev does with packages and packages, who orders food through a delivery service during a pandemic:

We ask the courier to leave all the packages near the door, and when he leaves, we take food packages in seals and masks and take them to the balcony.

On the balcony we take apart the packages, remove everythingpackaging and leave them on the balcony for 3-4 days. For example, if it is a chocolate bar, remove the outer wrapper from it and leave only the foil. We take out cookies or cereal from the cardboard packaging and leave only the inner bag. If it is packed, put the meat on a plate, and leave the film on the balcony. We take out the fruits from the packaging and wash with soap, even berries.

The main thing is not to get clean and dirty with the same hands / gloves. We have one removes the dirty packaging, and the other takes to the kitchen. Similarly, my products together.

All that can be frozen - for a couple of days we throw in the freezer.

After 3-4 days, we throw everything that remains on the balcony into the trash.

Packages from cookies go to the trash, and everything inside goes to the kitchen

How to go to the store?

When the Russian authorities announced a weekend week, we published an article on how to walk to the store during a pandemic.

5 rules can be distinguished from this article:

  • Before going to the store you need to dress in clothes that do not attract dust and do not absorb moisture. You also need to put on a hat so that particles of the virus can not remain on the hair;
  • You need to go to the store when there are fewertotal people - in the early morning or late evening. It should be borne in mind that during quarantine the workload of stores is difficult to predict, so if there are a lot of visitors in the room, it is better not to go there;
  • Being in the store you must stay away from people at a distance of at least 1.5 meters. People with signs of illness are best avoided;
  • You need to buy products with a long shelf life, so that in a day you do not have to go to the store again;
  • After coming home, clothing and food are important to wipe with a damp cloth, and even better - with an antibacterial agent.
  • Nothing fundamentally new Donald Schaffnercould not offer. He only advised before going to the store to make a list of products in order to quickly buy everything you need and return home faster. Of the interesting things, he also mentioned that antiseptic agents are offered to visitors in stores in some countries. In Russia, such actions have not yet been noticed, but if you have an antibacterial agent on hand, try to use it more often.