Do you have to disinfect the food you bring home from the grocery store?
The coronavirus pandemic has people cleaning and disinfecting things more than ever before. Dr. Tamika Sims, with the International Food Information Council, says, “Yes, there can be a virus transfer risk if someone carrying the virus sneezes onto your produce and within hours you touch it and then immediately eat it—but the chances of this occurring are slim. Also, using bleach or detergent on anything you plan to eat has some with risks.” Sims says that ingesting any amount of bleach can be a major health hazard, and if you’re concerned just cook, or wash your produce thoroughly with warm water. She adds, “[The] CDC has told us that this virus [breaks down] relatively easily with warm water and with heat.” You can also rinse canned goods or items in plastic or glass containers if you’re worried, though it’s not clear that these kinds of objects pose a major threat of contagion. Just be careful if you’re using any kind of chemical cleaning agent on food with semipermeable packaging and make sure you don’t get it into your food in general.