Even with shelter in place provisions enacted and social distancing guidelines being spread far and wide, one common denominator that’s unavoidable among people is the consumption of food. The inevitability of food-shopping, mixed with recent reports of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, adhering to surfaces such as paper and metal, has led to widespread worry about bringing food products into the home.
As a result, many people are wiping down their groceries — be they picked up firsthand or delivered — prior to shelving and eating them at home.
Science isn’t onboard with this form of coronavirus prevention, however. As of now, no evidence indicates that COVID-19 can be transmitted by way of food. The more immediate risk while shopping is being exposed to other people, hence the guideline (presently a law) to stay six feet away from others when outside your home environment.
Moreover, no evidence supports the idea that touching groceries — even if contaminated — will make a person sick. In the meantime, washing down food products with soap can lead to digestive symptoms in those who eat them.
The standard advice we’ve been administered still holds true even when shopping for and handling food: engage in responsible social distancing and hand-washing, and resist the impulse to touch your face. Wash your hands after shopping, wash your hands after handling food, wash your hands throughout the day.
In addition, only go out shopping if you feel sure you haven’t been exposed to or infected by the coronavirus.