Virologist reveals why you need to bin outer food packaging, wipe jars with soapy water and disinfect your shopping bag on Coronavirus: How Clean Is Your House?

Apr 9, 2020

Shoppers should bin all outer plastic packaging and decant their food shop into containers before wiping down cans and jars with soapy water to stop coronavirus getting into the home, a documentary has revealed.

Channel 4’s How Clean Is Your House follows two Midlands couples as they learn how to protect themselves against COVID-19 – which can live on cardboard for 24 hours and on steel and plastic for up to five days.

Experts Dr Javid Abdelmoneim, an A&E doctor, and virologist Dr Lisa Cross, explain extra precautions need to be taken by everyone to stop the spread of the virus, and in particular to protect those who are currently shielding.

When bringing groceries into the house the food should be emptied out on to the floor in a specially designated area, explains Dr Cross.

She said: ‘We have to go back to first principles really here. It is an item that is coming in from the outside so could have virus on.’

All items with an outer plastic packaging that can be disposed off should be emptied out into separate containers and put into the fridge.

And any jars, cartons or tins should be wiped down with a plastic cloth.

Dr Abdelmoneim revealed: ‘Current guidance tells us that the food itself is unlikely to be a risk because even if particles are ingested they will not survive in our stomach.’

When the food has been put away and washed it is important to wipe down the floor and any reusable bags with soap and water before then washing your hands.

‘There’s one more thing to consider. The bags the shopping came in,’ said Dr Abdelmoneim.

Dr Cross explained: ‘If this was a canvas bag you could be popping that in your washing machine. If it’s a plastic bag you can just be decontaminating the outsides really easily.

‘And then the key thing to remember is if it’s going on the floor just choose the same spot every time so you will get into the routine of what you’re doing.

‘Do all this, give it a wipe down, and then wash your hands.’

She told the Mail it was important for people to take precautions when taking their shopping home.

Your house could be a shining example of cleanliness, but every time we bring some of the outside world in, we are potentially bringing infectious viral particles in,’ she explained.

‘It is especially important to decontaminate not so much the food per se, but the packaging it comes in – as that is where the virus could “land”.

‘So for example, remove the packaging on the biscuits, put them in a tin because if you don’t, every time (in the next few days) you get another biscuit your hand could be in contact with the virus and then that hand is going to your mouth and that’s bad news.’

Channel 4’s How Clean Is Your House will be on tonight at 8pm.

By Emmer Scully, 9th April 2020

Source: Mail Online