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Sunday, May 31, 2020
Coronavirus Science not onboard with wiping down your food

Science not onboard with wiping down your food

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.

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Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer and filmmaker. He is the author of six critically acclaimed fiction books, among them the novella "It's Only Temporary" (2005), which appeared on Nightmare Magazine's list of the Top 100 Horror Books, and numerous short stories published in anthologies alongside work by H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, and many others. His nonfiction articles have been published on The Daily Dot, Ravishly, and The Good Men Project. His first feature film, "Rule of 3" (2010), won awards at the Fantasia International Film Festival and Shriekfest, and had its U.S. premiere at Fantastic Fest. His second feature film, "Living Things" (2014), was endorsed by PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals) and distributed by Cinema Libre Studio. In 2015, he won the 19th Annual Fade In Award for Thriller Screenplays. He was a founding partner of Ghostwriters Central, a writing and editing firm which received positive notices from The Wall Street Journal, Consumers Digest, and the TV program "Intelligence For Your Life." Eric has edited works published on The Huffington Post and Forbes, as well as two Bram Stoker Award-nominated novels.
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