HOW TO SAFELY MANAGE GROCERIES DELIVERED TO YOU
A great video by a doctor in Michigan – loaded with helpful tips.
Leave groceries outside for three days – Not something we can easily do here in SF. Use gloves to bring the groceries into your apartment.
There’s been conflicting data regarding how long the coronavirus can survive on surfaces, but VanWingen says for the sake of your groceries, it’s smart to assume it’s three days. He recommends leaving groceries outside your home for three days — by storing them in a garage, on a porch or in an entryway — in the hope that by the time you bring them in, they will be rid of the virus.
“When you go out to get your groceries, and you bring them home, try not to bring them into your house unless you absolutely need them,” says VanWingen. Those who have their groceries delivered should do this, too. “Have [the delivery person] leave them outside, so you can bring them in when you need them,” he says.
- All unnecessary external packaging should be discarded.
- For bagged produce, if two people are available, one person can open the refrigerator’s crisper and the other can dump in the vegetables, disposing of the bag. Items like bread can be placed in sterile storage containers.
- “We know that coronavirus can likely live on [cardboard] for 24 hours, but on the inside, no human hands have touched this for more than a few days,” he says while removing a cereal bag and throwing out the box itself.
- If you’re buying groceries for someone else, consider removing the groceries from their external containers and putting them in a cloth bag. For items whose container can’t be removed, sanitize the groceries first and then put them into the bag.
VanWingen recommends applying a method called sterile technique — used by health-care professionals to prevent the spread of infection within a hospital — to sterilize food.
- Before bringing groceries inside, designate a clean side and a dirty side of a table, sanitizing the clean half with any standard disinfectant. Then place the groceries on the dirty side of the table.
- “Imagine that the groceries that you have are covered with some glitter, and your goal at the end of this is to not have any glitter in your house, on your hands, or especially on your face,” he says.
- Using a sanitizing towel, he says to “make sure your rag is good and saturated with disinfectant” and start wiping everything down.
- “More hard plastic things that you’re not worried about disinfecting more liberally,” like medication bottles, can be sprayed directly and then wiped down.
- Use common sense when focusing on where to wipe down more.
- “Now, you wanna wipe off the areas that you think humans’ hands were touching a bit more liberally than the areas that you don’t think human hands have touched,” he says.
Wash fruit like you would wash your hands — for 20 seconds per piece of fruit, in soapy water.
“I know all this seems like it’s time-consuming, but these days, in truth, people do have a bit more time on their hands,” he says. “Let’s be methodical and be safe and not take any chances.”