During the pandemic, as we bring fruits, vegetables, or other essential items home, the fear of contracting coronavirus from the same becomes more.
Viruses cannot survive or remain stable in newspapers, cash, or books for long. We should keep them outside for a few hours before using them. Plastic or metal items like pen, pencil box can be sanitized as there is evidence that sanitizers work on them.
Here are a few frequently asked questions that can help you understand how to sanitize things at home.
Q. How can we ensure the safety of vegetables and fruits bought from the vendors?
Coronavirus may remain on fruits and vegetables for 6-8 hours, and when exposed to heat, the virus stays for less than four hours. In either case, when you get vegetables from vendors, keep them outside for four hours within the packet itself.
After that, dispose of the packet and wash the eatables with warm water and/or baking soda to ensure complete safety.
Q. Can we use sanitizers on fruits and vegetables?
Sanitizers are not recommended for vegetables and fruits; rather, they can be harmful as they contain chemicals. Moreover, there is no evidence that sanitizers can kill viruses on vegetables and fruits.
Sanitizers are useful only for hands, body, and metal or steel surfaces
Warm water is sufficient or add a drop of potassium permanganate or backing soda to the warm water and dip the eatables in it. Wear a mask while doing it.
Q. How about the items such as bananas or onions which cannot be dipped in warm water or washed?
Do not expose yourself to these things directly and keep them outside for 3-4 hours before consuming them. Do not immediately cook these vegetables or consume the fruits.
Q. How to sanitize medicine strips?
There is no evidence that sanitizers work on medicine strips. Keep them in a closed box at room temperature. Do not keep these medicines under direct sunlight, as it could affect its efficacy.
Q. Do doctors recommend the use of vegetable sanitizers?
If these vegetable sanitizers have KMnO4 or potassium permanganate, then it is fit for use or else not.
Q. What should be done in case of grocery items like cheese and milk, which cannot be kept outside for four hours?
If cheese and milk are packed, wash the cover with soap water and immediately dispose of the outer packet such that they are not directly exposed to any human being. The virus remains in plastic, metal, or cold drink cans, the virus may stay for 24-48 hours.
Q. Is cooked food ordered from the outside safe? What about cooked food that comes packed in boxes
There is no problem with cooked foods as it is already boiled with which the virus will not survive. However, handling the cooked food is a concern as someone must have packed it and then delivered it.
Ideally, we should avoid cooked food from outside. If there are unavoidable circumstances, ensure that the packets or boxes in which the food is stored are discarded immediately.
Q. What to do in case of cash, newspapers, or stationery items?
Viruses cannot survive or remain stable in newspapers, cash, or books for long. Hence, keep them outside for 2-3 hours before using them. Sanitizers may be of no use on these. Plastic or metal items like pen or pencil box can be sanitized as there is evidence that sanitizers work on them.
Q. How should the purchased garments or shoes be sanitized?
Ensure shoes worn outside are not used inside the house, as there is a possibility of stepping on an infected person’s spit or other contaminated surfaces, while outside.
In case of purchase of new garments and shoes, keep them in the verandah or balcony for 48 hours. Make sure you wash the new clothes before wearing them.
Keep the courier received in the sunlight before opening it- if paper-based, keep it under sunlight for 3-4 hours, if it is a plastic or metal-based, disinfect it.
Make sure you use your pen while signing on receipt letters brought by the postman.