Augusta County infectious disease expert says there is no need to wipe down groceries

Augusta County infectious disease expert says there is no need to wipe down groceries
Many people wipe down their groceries before putting them away, but do they need to? (Source: Pixabay)

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Back at the start of the quarantine, a lot of people wiped down their groceries before putting them away. According to some experts, that is not necessary. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website states that the risk of contracting COVID-19 from food packaging is "thought to be low.”

The CDC says not to use disinfectants designed for hard surfaces, such as bleach or ammonia, on food that is packaged in cardboard or plastic wrap. They do recommend disinfecting your shopping cart and washing your hands for 20 seconds after unpacking your items.

The medical director of infectious diseases at Augusta Health, Dr. Allison Baroco, said it is way more important to wear a mask while shopping than to wipe down groceries.

“If the person that is handling your groceries is wearing a mask and the people stocking the shelves are wearing masks, then it is less likely that grocery items are going to have any — or if they do have any,it would be a very low - burden of virus that would be infecting those things on the shelf.”

Dr. Baroco says if you are still concerned about your groceries carrying the virus, it doesn’t hurt to set them out on a counter for a period of time and then wipe down the counter.

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