The novel coronavirus is spreading like wildfire in many countries, especially in the U.S. Since disinfection has been proven to curb the spread of the virus, many are wondering if disinfecting groceries could help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
It is understandable why many people nowadays are panicking at the thought of getting infected through other means aside from person-to-person contact. The paranoia is driving everyone to think that they could get the virus from just about anything, including fabric, food, and even groceries.
However, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a statement debunking the belief that humans can contract COVID-19 from food and grocery items. The agency even clarified that there is no need to disinfect groceries before you put your hands on them and bring them inside your homes.
“We have no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is spreading through food at all. Not through take-out orders, groceries, or produce,” the DOH said in a statement. “When you return home from the grocery store, please thoroughly wash your hands, but there is no reason to try to disinfect your groceries. And please, don’t put chemicals like household cleaners on the food you’re going to eat.”
The health agency also went on to explain that based on scientific data experts have gathered so far, the novel coronavirus only spreads from person to person through droplets in the air when a person with COVID-19 sneezes or coughs. And even though the virus can spread through the small droplets that land on surfaces, this isn’t the main mode of transmission of the disease.
The DOH also reiterated the need to wash hands frequently and to avoid touching the face amid the pandemic. Moreover, the agency urged everyone to continue practicing social distancing especially when going out to shop for supplies. Limiting grocery shopping to just once a week is also recommended to slow the spread of the deadly virus.
Donald Schaffner, Ph.D., a professor in the department of food science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, also relayed the same sentiment on why people should not be afraid of getting infected of the disease from groceries and take-out food.
“The science around coronavirus continues to unfold, but there is currently no evidence that the disease is transmitted by food,” Schaffner said of the respiratory virus.