Should You Be Disinfecting Your Groceries?

It's best to be cautious.

Do You Need to Clean Your Groceries?

The once-routine chore of going to the grocery store and checking off items on your list has become akin to preparing for surgery, now that shoppers are asked to don a mask and disposable gloves and maintain six feet of distance from fellow shoppers. As COVID-19 spreads around the world, so do questions about this novel respiratory disease. Is it safe to shop in a grocery store? Before we answer that, here are four household products that kill coronavirus, according to Consumer Reports.

The days of walking mindlessly into a grocery store without a care in the world have long since passed. Instead, cashiers and grocery store employees are lauded as heroes, on the front lines of defense. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends staying home except for essential trips to limit the chances of transmission. Other experts agree and suggest ordering food online. “I’ve heard there are wait times, but if you can use that option it would definitely be better than going out,” Dr. Joshua Petrie, an assistant research professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, tells TIME. Sanitizing your shopping cart, avoid touching your face, and bringing disposable gloves at checkout are just a few ways you can shop safely, according to experts and Consumer Reports. Plus, wash your hands immediately after touching these 10 things.

People 65 or over might be advised to avoid the grocery store altogether. “For older people and those with underlying health conditions — the group that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying home — I would highly recommend using a grocery delivery service,” says Jim Rogers, the director of food safety and research testing at Consumer Reports. Here are 5 ways to save more when buying in bulk.

How Safe Are Your Groceries?

Sometimes, ordering online may not cut it and you have to brave the grocery store. There’s no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Instead, the FDA says “cleaning and sanitizing the surfaces is a better use of resources than testing to see if the virus is present.” Here’s how to make your household cleaners (and other household items) last longer.

Still, there’s no harm in being cautious and cleaning your groceries, right? You can use disinfectant wipes on glass or cans. Clean all the surfaces you have touched, and always wash your hands. Here’s how to wash your hands the right way.

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest

Madeline Wahl
Madeline Wahl is a Digital Associate Editor/Writer at Previously, she worked for HuffPost and Golf Channel. Her writing has appeared on HuffPost, Red Magazine, McSweeney's, Pink Pangea, The Mighty, and Yahoo Lifestyle, among others. More of her work can be found on her website: