Do You Need to Wipe Down Food Packaging Amid Coronavirus Pandemic?

April 18, 2020
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Grocery shopping, like most things these days, can be stressful amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On top of making sure you are wearing a face covering and gloves while roaming the aisles of your local supermarket, many have taken the extra precaution to wipe down and disinfect all food packaging upon returning to their homes.

While there have been some reports claiming the virus can live on various surfaces for hours and even days, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated their safety guidelines to help tamper down the anxiety levels of Americans by saying there is no need to sanitize food packaging.

“We want to reassure consumers that there is currently no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” the FDA said on their website.

“This particular coronavirus causes respiratory illness and is spread from person-to-person, unlike foodborne gastrointestinal or GI viruses, such as norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food.”

While wiping down packages may not be necessary, the FDA did stress the importance of wearing a face mask, carrying wipes to clean off shopping carts, social distancing within stores and properly washing hands upon returning home.

Despite their latest update, the federal agency also left it up to consumers if they still feel compelled to wipe down packages.

“Again, there is no evidence of food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. However, if you wish, you can wipe down product packaging and allow it to air dry, as an extra precaution,” the FDA said.

One thing they did urge people to keep clean are kitchen countertops.

“Regularly clean and sanitize kitchen counters using a commercially available disinfectant product or a DIY sanitizing solution,” the FDA said, before warning, “Do not use this solution or other disinfecting products on food.”

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