Cleaning shopping: Should I be disinfecting my food shopping?

Tesco outline their latest shopping measures ahead of lockdown

Whether you get your food delivered or handpick your items in a supermarket yourself, there’s still a chance you’ll pick up the COVID-19 virus. Some Brits have been meticulously sterilising their food shopping as soon as it crosses the threshold into their home, and apparently, they’re doing the right thing. Express.co.uk chatted to Lewis Ames from leading UK, medical-grade, hand sanitiser and disinfectant manufacturer, Ocean Free, to find out why you should be disinfecting your supermarket shop.

Why you should be disinfecting your food shopping

Recent data from the NHS Test and Trace app has shown that supermarkets are the most common COVID-19 exposure setting.

A shopping trolley is thought to harbour 361 times more bacteria than a toilet doorknob, carrying the germs transferred by the shoppers who have used it before you.

We all know how to stay safe inside a shop, but how many of us can honestly say we disinfect our shopping when we get home?

Mr Ames from UK hand sanitiser and disinfectant manufacturer said it’s important to clean your shopping when you bring it home to keep your household coronavirus-free.

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Most UK supermarkets offer a delivery service, meaning customers can get their food shop sent straight to their home with a touch of a button.

Delivery is obviously safer than visiting a supermarket but there are still risks.

Mr Ames explained: “The crates that have carried your food shopping to your door have been used to deliver other people’s shopping before, in the same way that trolleys and baskets are used inside a supermarket.

“On top of this, someone has had to package your food for you.”

How to clean your shopping

Keeping your hands clean plays a huge role in cleaning your food shop.

Mr Ames said: “It’s best to use a hand spray or gel before and after coming into contact with the supermarket and others.

“You can use a bag-friendly travel hand gel or spray such as Ocean Free Antiseptic Disinfectant Spray, which has high emollient content to moisturise hands, and can be used on surfaces too.”

Your hands should also be disinfected with a hand sanitiser that has at least 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol content.

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After cleaning your hands, you can start cleaning your shopping.

It’s important to clean your shopping as soon as you get home – don’t hesitate or start unpacking your shopping and putting it away.

Mr Ames explained: “COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for one day and three days on plastic and stainless steel.”

If you carried COVID-19 into your home on a can of beans, used the can of beans three days later and then touched your face, you could catch coronavirus.

This is likely to be prevented by wiping items down with disinfectant wipes.

Disinfectant wipes are better than cloth and sponges because wipes are disposable, and germs will linger and be spread around when you use a cloth.

Mr Ames said: “If you do use a cloth, ensure to put this in the washing machine between uses, although this may not be as practical.

“For wipes, choose an alcohol-free option for wiping packaging and to clean the kitchen surface and door handles used.”

To effectively clean where your food shop has touched, you need a disinfectant which is strong enough against viruses as well as other germs and bacteria too.

Mr Ames said: “It should have at least 70 percent alcohol content, like Ocean Free’s Antiseptic Disinfectant, 500ml.”

You don’t just need to clean the items, you need to clean anything they have come into contact with.

Mr Ames explained: “If you’re placing items on the kitchen counter or table, ensure you also use a disinfectant spray once items have been put away to avoid the risk of contamination.

“Using the disinfectant spray with a wipe, clean the surfaces the shopping has touched.

The same applies to items delivered rather than bought in store.

Mr Ames said: “Use cleaning wipes on packaged goods before putting them away and ensure surfaces have been cleaned with a disinfectant wipe and or spray.

“For exposed foods such as fruit, continue to wash under water as appropriate.”

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