HOW LONG CAN THE NEW CORONAVIRUS LINGER ON SURFACES?
IN THE AIR
UP TO 3 HOURS
UP TO 4 HOURS
UP TO 24 HOURS
ON PLASTIC AND
UP TO 72 HOURS
COVID-19 SAFE GROCERY SHOPPING AND TAKE OUT TIPS
Since we can’t see COVID-19 germs, imagine that they are as hard to get rid of as GLITTER. That means that ALL items that come into your home (groceries, takeout, items from the pharmacy or hardware store, or anything touched by another human in the past 72 hours) should be thoroughly disinfected. Your goal is to avoid getting any germs in your home and on your person. If you must go out to shop, ONLY go when there are fewest people in the store, and wear a mask and gloves.
Don’t go to the store if you have any respiratory infection, COVID-19 symptoms or have any chronic condition such as asthma or diabetes. Use delivery services or ask your friends to bring you things, which they leave outside of your door.
Wear a clean pair of rubber gloves while shopping. Throw away gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after shopping. Use a clean pair of gloves before touching anything you bring home or is delivered to you, or before you get into any vehicle. Dispose of the gloves after you have put your things away.
Note: Several NOMAF volunteers advise they wear plastic rain ponchos while inside stores and dispose of them upon leaving.
Transfer items like bread and crackers into clean containers, and dispose of the original bag or box. When possible, leave non-perishable items on a porch or outside space for 24 hours before you put them away.
Make a list before you go and try to limit shopping trips to once every 14 days. Practice social distancing, including at the checkout. Don’t touch anything on the shelves unless you are putting it in your cart. Don’t use cloth or reusable shopping bags. Disposable bags are best. Lay down garbage bags in your car to place items on and throw them away when you get home. Put the clothes you had on in the laundry and wash your hands.
Microwaving and heating food eliminates any trace of the virus. Avoid cold or uncooked foods that have been touched by human hands.
While shopping, use an antibacterial wipe on your cart, the counter, your credit card, etc. Pay and tip with credit card or Venmo, etc. so you can avoid touching cash. Likewise, disinfect your table before you put any items you bring in from outside on it and again after you have put everything away. Wipe off condiments such as salt and pepper, ketchup bottles, hot sauce before and after every meal with antibacterial wipes or bleach spray. Always wash your dishes with antibacterial detergent or in the dishwasher on “sanitize” mode if possible.
Fruit is porous, so wash each piece of fruit for 20 seconds in soapy water. The longer it is soaked the better. Be sure to wash all soap off of the fruit. Dry with a clean paper towel.
Wipe off any area you think human hands have touched! Spray disinfectant on the outside of milk cartons, frozen foods (freezing can preserve the virus), canned beverages, bags of chips, packages of toilet paper, bleach, medicine bottles, etc.
If you have food or groceries dropped off, have the courier or friend leave them outside your door. After they have left, use gloves to retrieve the packages.