The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

How to shop without fear of contracting a coronavirus


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Experts told "Domashny Ochag"how things are with procurement security during a pandemic.

Photo: Shutterstock

Recent weeks have become a source of stress and chaos for everyone. If you have recently visited hypermarkets, then you know what we are talking about. Workers run back and forth, trying to fill up rapidly empty shelves, cashiers with round eyes punch toilet paper, buckwheat, pasta, toilet paper, buckwheat, pasta - and so on in a circle. And what sometimes happens in the department with canned goods - neither in a fairy tale nor in a film about a zombie apocalypse can be described.

What happens if someone insidiously touched a head of cabbage and put it back, and now you want to buy it? And what about a box of breakfast cereals for children?

Suddenly a danger lurked on her? Who touched the products before you, with clean hands, is it even possible to get infected in this way?

Here is the opinion of food technologists and doctors about how safe it is to buy food now.

Yes, a lot of people touch the products you buy.

People in supermarkets point fingers at tomatoes and avocados. They bring oranges to their faces to smell them. When you pick up fruits and vegetables from the store, they have already accumulated everything that brought the touch of hundreds of people.

But, firstly, it has always been so, and you are still alive. Secondly, you can do something to protect yourself in the current epidemiological environment. Take food from the far shelves or from the bottom layer of the heap, pull out the boxes that were farthest (just carefully, try not to ruin the store and the product display).

Disinfect Grocery Cart Handles

You will now be helped by a scarce gel sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, chlorhexidine in a spray and the good old recommendation “do not touch your face”. Do not forget to wash or handle your hands immediately after you pay at the checkout. If possible, switch to non-cash payment: paper money always suffered too many infections, even in peaceful pre-coronavirus times.

Use bags and shoppers

Do not give up your environmentally responsible canvas bag in favor of plastic bags (unless biodegradable, made from corn starch - some of them are in some stores and hypermarkets). Just wash it after shopping. Soap, hot water - and the virus will not pass. And after the cycle in the washing machine, the infection will have no chance at all.

Wash fruits and vegetables

Obvious advice that we all already know. Almost always, we rinse fruits and vegetables under running water when we get home with our purchases. But how carefully do we do this? How many of us first put our purchases in the refrigerator right in the bags, and wash them just before eating?

It is much better to peel fruits and vegetables and leave to dry on a towel before putting them in the refrigerator.

If possible, wash the food not just with warm water, but with a gel for dishes, toys and vegetables.

These are often sold in the household chemistry department and are designed to wash children's dishes (check the label). Mantra for the coming weeks: soap, hot water, cleanliness. And everything will be alright.

Remember to wash your hands after cleaning everything else! Few people know, but even if you wash something with soap, it is not necessary that your hands remain clean. Dishes are one thing, but the products are quite another, anything is possible with them.

On the subject: Quarantined world: what stocks are advised to do in the USA, Russia and European countries

It is not necessary to wipe the packaged food, but it will not be superfluous

Canned food, boxes, plastic packaging - the likelihood that you will become infected by touching them is extremely small. If your soul is warmed by a thorough cleaning of all production from the hypermarket, you can devote a little more time to this. But try not to give in to paranoia, trying to make a box of oatmeal sterile. This is physically impossible and will only whip up your frustration and fear.

If you are very worried, let the products lie down - the virus does not live long on hard surfaces.

The main source of infection remains social interactions, and the main factors of your safety will be how well you maintain personal hygiene. And it’s not at all the sterility of a jar of pickled cucumbers. Stay away from other people, in line at the checkout, try to get up not as close as usual (and feel free to talk about this to people pushing behind). Pay strength and attention to what really matters.

Age is not a hindrance to an active life, but a reason to be careful

If you are at risk (you are over fifty, you are a smoker, or you have a chronic illness), please be careful. Ask your neighbors for help, use the delivery services - there are a lot of them now! - or contact relatives. If possible, it is up to you to sit out the most acute periods of the epidemic at home. If this is not possible, select the hours of minimum occupancy when shopping. Perhaps there is a 24-hour supermarket near you that you have not visited before? Look online for store opening hours and, as an exception, visit the store at night. Or vice versa, early in the morning when everything is washed and grated, and visitors have not yet had time to cough up the whole parsley.

Can I eat in restaurants and cafes? And to visit public places?

It is better to order delivery, having previously specified by phone that all precautions will be followed by the courier. Also, in many cities and countries, restaurants continue to operate in the takeaway mode - you can go in, buy your favorite dish and eat it at home.

Concerts, clubs and bars, cinemas and other crowded places will be a bad idea. In many cities, these places are already closed, or their visit is limited.

What should I remember when I cook at home?

Wash your hands. Wash your hands as often as possible, before, after, and in the process. And immediately stop cooking if you find at least one of the symptoms of coronavirus (cough, fever, etc.). Your household will live well without the food you have infected, even if they start whining and picking.

Do not forget that food processed at high temperatures is not able to infect you with viruses. Those die when your cutlets become well-done.

The viruses themselves are a bit like cutlets (only very small): they are made up of protein and fat.

On the subject: How many coronavirus lives on surfaces and what means to use for cleaning and disinfection

Do not get carried away with purchases, products can go bad before you have time to eat them. In addition, because of the panic-induced deficit, they may not be available to those, especially those who need them. Pensioners, the poor and other vulnerable groups usually cannot afford to buy as large as wealthier people. After all, it is they who usually eat cheap carbohydrates like buckwheat, pasta and cereals. Not everyone can afford to fill cabinets and work from home. Do not buy too much.

So far, there is no information that would confidently confirm that coronavirus can be transmitted through food and food. The health departments of various countries say that you should not worry about this. However, we repeat: it is very important to observe the rules of hygiene, more important than ever. Remember them yourself, make loved ones (especially children) wash their hands, do not be afraid to seem a bore or alarmist. This is not the case.

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