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With many Americans only leaving their homes to take a walk or buy food because of the coronavirus pandemic, thoroughly cleaning groceries can be a smart way to keep the virus out of your home, Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen told FOXBusiness.
"We don’t have a cure. We don’t have a vaccine," VanWingen told FOXBusiness. "The most powerful thing we have is education. As a family doctor, my primary interest is prevention."
The FDA isn't recommending that consumers disinfect their groceries but isn't discouraging it either.
VanWingen says whether you shop at an indoor supermarket or an outdoor farmers' market, there are steps you can take to kill germs that could lurk in respiratory droplets on food packaging or produce.
"In truth, farmers' markets are more often open-air. Conceivably, that could be a bit more reasonable than an enclosed supermarket," VanWingen said, adding that supermarkets are taking safety precautions like limiting the number of shoppers and making aisles one-way.
Here are VanWingen's top tips when you grocery shop:
- Bring a shopping list in order to cut down on the amount of time you spend in the store.
- Only touch the items you "commit" to buy.
- Leave nonperishable foods in a garage or other out-of-the way area for a few days.
- Transfer packaged goods, including raw meat, straight to storage containers at home.
- Wash produce in water (no soap needed).
"The virus isn’t very hardy," VanWingen explained. "If it’s left in a respiratory droplet, we can do our best to mitigate the worst-case scenario, getting viral particles out by washing with water."