Hank Investigates: How to keep germs off your groceries

Fighting an invisible virus sounds impossible, especially if you have to go to the grocery store and bring stuff home, or have groceries delivered. 7’s Hank Phillippi Ryan tells you how to keep the germs off your goods.

You need groceries of course, but whether they’re delivered, or you go to the store, there are ways to keep battling the coronavirus.

“You need to treat everything that comes into your home like its potentially contaminated,” Patrick Hardy, certified risk and disaster planning expert and founder of the Disaster Hawk app said.

Hardy recommends putting arriving grocery bags on a disinfecting area or a table you’ve set up. Then remove the packages inside.

“You’re going to lay the bags down on the table you’re going to take the items out of the bag one by one,” Hardy said.

He says to toss the empty paper or plastic bags, then disinfect the surface the bags were on. If you use your own reusable shopping bags, disinfect those too.

If you bought fresh produce, wash that right away.

“They need to be immediately washed, they need to go right to your sink and you need to do a preliminary wash of them using soap and water,” Hardy said.

As for the individual cardboard or plastic packages, the FDA reports, “currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.”

But Doctor Michael Knight says if you disinfect a product’s packaging, just don’t get cleaner on your food.

“It’s OK to wipe it down, let it dry and then put it in your fridge,” Dr. Knight said.

And if you did a massive grocery shopping last week and packed stuff away without wiping it down, Dr. Knight says it’s OK.

“Remember the virus is not going to live on a surface indefinitely most of the evidence has shown hours to a couple of days. If you packed that food away a week ago, the virus is not still living on the cardboard box,” Knight said.

Not all cleaning products are effective in killing the virus but the CDC has a comprehensive list on its website. And always, experts say, don’t forget to wash your hands.

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