Coronavirus has made everyone concerned about their health and safety. But we still have to go out to shop groceries and keeping your kitchen safe from the virus has became an extra burden. Everyday actions in the kitchen — stocking the pantry, washing produce, preparing meals — all involve opportunities to transmit the novel coronavirus.
Sigh of relief is that fact that Corona’s primary mode of transmission is person-to-person. Health experts have all said they have seen no evidence of foodborne transmission. But of course you don’t want to be the person that brought the virus in your home. So, being the kitchen manager of your home makes you extra cautious.
Health authorities have stuck by the “4 Steps of Food Safety” for decades: Clean (wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces often); separate (separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other groceries); cook (to safe temperatures); and chill (refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours). Those rules still hold up during the COVID-19 pandemic, just with a few added steps and specifications.
Regularly wash your hands
This is the easiest and most solid defense against the virus. If you go out for groceries, best practice is keep a small sanitizer bottle with you and keep sanitizing your hands as shop for stuff.
If someone else buys groceries for you, do not forget to sanitize or wash your before taking the bags from the person. Bring the bags in the kitchen and clean your hands again. Keep yourself cool and calm while handling the bags, do not panic and avoid touching your face before washing your hands.
Unpacking the bags
Now comes the next step, unpacking the groceries and storing them away. Here too, basic steps are pretty simple so, do as you normally do except one thing: do not put grocery bags on the kitchen shelf. Put them down on the floor and open the bags. Take out all items one by one and segregate them like packed food, fruits & vegetables, loose items (if you buy them).
Best way is to sanitize all packaged food items before storing them as they MAY contain virus from another visitor or some infected store worker. Than wash vegetables and fruits and leave them open to dry before storing them in refrigerator.
Regarding bags, if they are reusable cloth bags, do not put them away without washing. If they are plastic bags, dispose them off and then wash your hands thoroughly.
if you have washed any of the grocery items like fruit, vegetables, tin pack or glass bottles, let them dry and then store them at their suitable place. Some experts recommends not to wash fruits and vegetables unless we are ready to consume them. Whatever you choose, just keep yourself calm and do what suits you best.
After you’re done storing, do not forget to thoroughly wash your kitchen shelf and floor. Any regularly detergent will work but you can also make your own cleaning liquid by mixing regular Dettol in a bucket of water.
These are some of the basic and common sense steps that you can keep yourself and your family safe from catching this potentially lethal virus.