Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – How to sanitize items from outside

There has been a lot of things which we hear about Coronavirus today and a lot has been said and written about the do’s and don’ts during the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Today we need to worry about anything we get from outside. Let us look at how to sanitize fruits and vegetables we get from outside.

Lockdown 4.0 has begun because of this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and all the shops are allowed to open. e-Commerce companies have also started to deliver things. Life has started looking normal and we will be going out to get things needed like fruits, vegetable etc. How do we make sure that these things are safe to use?

Why should you sanitize fruits and vegetables and other items?

This virus is usually likely to remain active on fruit and vegetables for 6-8 hours, may be a little bit less if the temperature is high or items are kept in sunlight / exposed to sunlight.

Today, in general, try not to use these vegetables and fruits directly after you bring them in. But keep them aside for at least four hours. Do not even open the packets.

How to sanitize Fruits and Vegetables

We tend to save the packets. Which is not correct during these times. Discard of the packets after each time, and dip the vegetables and fruits in warm water for some time. Make a solution of warm water and baking soda and rinse the fruits and vegetable in them.

We also hear many people using hand sanitizer to spray vegetables and fruits. Sanitizers are not recommended for fruits and vegetables at all.

There is no study to prove that hand sanitizers work well in fruits and vegetables. Infact virus and the sanitizer chemicals can go deep inside the pores on the skin of fruits / vegetables.

Sanitizers are only useful for us, ie. our hands and body, and metal or steel. Sanitizers have chemicals which may be dangerous if they are swallowed.

Hot water is enough to wash fruits and vegetables. we could also add a bit of potassium permanganate.

If potassium permanganate is not available, use baking soda in warm water. If possible wear a face mask when cleaning fruit and vegetables.

we today also hear of vegetable sanitisers getting introduced in market.

No one knows what is the composition of these products and how safe they are . If they contain potassium permanganate, then may be it is ok to use. But we are not sure how these sanitizers are.

What about onions, which can not be cleaned or washed in warm water?

They should also be kept aside for 4 to 5 hours before you really touch them. The intention is not to expose yourself to the virus instantly, should it be on the surface of these objects. So wait for some time before you actually start using them

What about perishable items like cheese, milk, butter

Now coming to other stuff like cheese, milk and butter that can’t be kept for 4 hours outside.

So yes these things cannot be kept outside else they get spoiled. Best will be to immediately wash them with warm water solution and then discard the outer cover safely and take out the content and keep it in fridge in a different container.

The virus can appear on the surface for 24-48 hours in case the packaging is plastic or metal, such as cold drink cans.

Such products should not be refrigerated immediately, but stored in a position where human contact is not present at room temperature.

What about food ordered from restaurants. Are they safe?

Food itself is ok as the cooking process kills the bacteria.

The issue is with the handling of the food. It would have been prepared, packed, transported by many people and you dont know if they have been infected by virus or not. This definitely makes us anxious.

So if you do order, make sure you securely and quickly remove the packaging, such as a pizza or cake package.

There is no evidence that sanitizers are successful on cardboard surfaces, and they are not approved for use.

Can we sanitize medicines?

Again, there is no evidence that sanitary spraying with them works. Only keep them in a sealed box for a few hours at room temperature.You should not be exposed directly after buying them, as they too would have changed hands many times. Make sure you don’t bring the drugs in direct sunlight, because that will impair their effectiveness.

What about the cash, paperwork, clothes or shoes?

The virus can not survive on paper, currency, or books for long, or remain stable. Start keeping them out 2-3 hours. Sanitizers may have no use at all on these. This is possible to sanitize plastic or metal objects such as pen or pencil case, because there is evidence that the sanitizers are working on them.

One must ensure that shoes worn outside aren’t being used inside the home, because there is a risk that one may have stepped on the spit or similar contaminated surface of an infected individual, when outside.They should be stored outside or in balcony for 48 hours when buying new garments or shoes. It is recommended that one wash the new clothes before wearing them.

What about courier?

Things delivered by courier or post should also be held in sunlight for 3-4 hours before entry, if wrapped in paper or cardboard. You can desinfect it if the packaging is plastic or metal.

When packed in paper or cardboard, by courier or post should also be kept in sunlight for 3-4 hours before entry. You can disinfect it if the packaging is plastic or metal. Instead of asking the delivery person for one, just use your own pen to sign shipment passes, receipts, notices issued by housing providers, etc ..

If you plan to go out, dont forget to carry these

1) Carry your own water bottle. If you are going to office then it makes sense further more.

2) Where ever you go take your own charger or power bank, to avoid borrowing someone else’s.

3) If going to office , take a notebook and a notepad yourself. On a pen surface the virus can live for 24-48 hours.

4) If you are going to office take sanitized wipes, and clean off your desk table, keys, etc. before you start work. Always carry a hand sanitizer.

5) Always wear face mask whenever possible. Do not touch nose, mouth, eyes etc and maintain social distancing.

6) Minimize touching railings, raising keys, door handles, and other widely used surfaces. And in case you need to, immediately use hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap.

7) Make sure you take your shoes outside when you come home, sanitize your sunglasses, gloves, pen and surface of your cell phone. Place clothes in detergent water and wash before engaging with the family. Make sure that nobody else uses the space and washroom you change into for at least 6-8 hours.

You may also like to read : Topics on Coronavirus

Coronavrius pandemic has really changed the way we live. Sanitizing everything we use and making it a habbit is going to be reality. It is going to have a long term impact on our lives. Hope you are already following points above on “How to” sanitize fruits and vegetables and other items”. Be strong and stay safe

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