If you’ve ever been concerned that a quick trip to the local grocery store could be an invitation into your home for the coronavirus, you’re not alone. According to WSU Extension, they continue to field questions about the risks associated bringing groceries home and if the virus could be found on products we purchase. Margaret Viebrock with WSU Extension said if you’re concerned, you can wash your produce before putting it away. But, make sure you wash the correct way, and that starts by using cool to warm running water.

“And using a scrub brush if you’re cleaning the outside of a cantaloupe, on a watermelon, you can just use your hands, but staying away from any types of soaps or detergents because it’s not safe, you should not ingest those products.  And if you spray something on your lettuce or Romaine, you would never get it washed off because all of those foods are porous, and they’ll just assimilate them and they’ll stay in the foods.”

Viebrock said for non-perishable items, leave them in a safe place for a few hours, killing any strand of virus that may be there. But that’s not the only way you can help stave off COVID-19 from groceries you pick up at the local store or neighborhood farmers market.

Viebrock said you can help your family stay healthy by having one location where you unpack groceries.

“So, you pick a counter surface in the kitchen, you unpack everything, you put it away, and then you put away your bags, or throw away your bags, whatever it is that you have.  And then that’s a good time to turn around and clean and disinfect/sanitize that countertop where all those things were that you brought home.”

From there, she notes it’s important you wash your hands. Viebrock said you can also help your family by limiting potential exposures by making fewer trips to the grocery store, which may require a menu.

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