Is spraying disinfectant on food packaging really necessary? Experts don’t agree
Have you been wiping down groceries and food packaging as a part of your routine?
If you have been doing so, then you might want to reconsider your strategy. With the arrival of this pandemic in March 2020, things have not been exactly normal. What were considered as daily routine activities are now thought of as a source of fear and anxiety due to the possible risk of transmission. People have gone overboard with precautions when it comes to ordering takeout but are these precautions really necessary? Yes, following these precautions is necessary until and unless you are not overdoing it or doing so doesn’t add to your worries. It has been found out that most people have turned to a routine of disinfecting parcels and deliverables using antiseptic liquid spray, even food. However, experts have found out that currently there is no evidence of transfer via hygienically prepared food.
Is food packaging really a threat?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stressed on the fact that there is no real chance of contracting the virus via food or grocery packaging. Up until today, there has been only one study that determines the survival of virus on different surfaces. The study states that the virus might survive on cardboard for 24 hours, on plastic and metals for 2-4 days, and so goes on the list. After this study was out, people went crazy and tried to wipe down every incoming object in the house. What’s interesting is that people don’t know that these survival timings for the virus were calculated in a laboratory with controlled settings. In the real world, many things come into play – the temperature, the humidity, and the load of virus on the surface itself. So, chances of you being infected by touching a can of food are way too low.
How are the experts acting?
Jamie Lloyd Smith, one of the scientists, who was on the team that conducted the research, himself doesn’t bother to wipe down the packages. He says that he considers his hands as being potentially contaminated after handling the groceries and makes sure to wash them properly once he’s done unpacking. Another virologist stated that he is also not overly concerned about getting the virus from take outs. He and his family are cooking food at home and are also ordering take out from restaurants. The reason behind not worrying is the probability of transmission. Chances of someone infecting the food packaging via putting the complete load required to infect another person and then the other person picking virus from the same container is extremely low. All in all, washing hands with bar soap and water is important and both of these esteemed professionals take extra care while washing hands but sort of view this mode of transmission as a hypothetical risk.
When exposed to outside conditions, virus was unable to survive even for 8 hours on the cardboard. This simply means that you can’t just put a number on it. The main mode of transmission will still be from person to person and that one should be less worried about getting it from the packaging. Still, if you want to then you can use the Dettol antibacterial wipes to wipe down just for your peace of mind, which is really rare nowadays. Moreover, if you really want to focus on something then focus on washing hands. There is no alternative to the protection that you get by washing hands properly. Consider your hands as contaminated after you have had contact with an object that’s coming from outside and then wash thoroughly; this is your best chance at keeping yourselves safe.
Out to shop?
If you are going out to shop for groceries or anything, then try maintaining distance from others. Always be at a distance of 6 feet and try minimizing your time in mart or at the store. Be quick with your shopping and be nice to others, give space and shop responsibly. Taking a shower after you are back is also a personal choice. If you feel relaxed by doing so then by all means, go for it. Bathing and changing is really not necessary every time you come home but if you have children around, then it’s better to do a full decontamination after you get home from the store. If you don’t feel like going out or going out makes you anxious, then just don’t! Order online and stay safe. Just be sure to wash hands after you are done with the removal of packaging. You can also leave the products that don’t need refrigeration, out for a couple of days - This is also one of the ways to cut your disinfection spree.
So, what are you planning to do from now on? Will you keep on spraying your groceries or would you rethink your strategy? If you still have any questions, you can contact us right away. We’ll be more than happy to help you out.