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A Complete Guide To Disinfecting Groceries During COVID-19!

By Dixit Arora +2 more

India has responded dutifully to the PM’s call of a national lockdown to defeat COVID-19. By now, we are all staying in our homes and practising social distancing.

But have you eliminated all risks of contracting COVID-19? Although we are washing our hands thoroughly after we come in from outside, do we also have to clean and disinfect everything that comes in from outside like groceries? The answer is Yes!

COVID-19 - A Complete Guide To Disinfecting Groceries! - PharmEasy

Read on to understand the importance of disinfecting and how to do it.

Why clean groceries and other essentials

A kind of virus causes COVID-19.  

Viruses, as you may know, can only grow and multiply inside a living host. But the bad news is, they can remain alive for anything between a couple of hours to a few days on different kinds of non-living things.

The same is true for coronavirus. Let us take a look at how long this virus can last on certain surfaces –

  •   Cardboard, clothes and paper –   24 hours
  •   Plastic and metal – 72 hours

This means you can bring the virus to your home through the things you purchase.

How coronavirus can end up in your homes through the things you buy

  1. Foods and groceries and anything that you order online come into your house packaged into cardboard boxes. Similarly, when you go grocery shopping, you store them in paper or plastic bags.
  2. In the market, many people touch the fruits, vegetables or other things that you finally end up buying. If anyone of them has the infection, the viruses could be present on the surface of the foods or there could be traces of the virus on the packaging as well.
  3. When you go out to purchase, you may accidentally touch something that was earlier handled by an infected person.

According to CDC plain water wash or scrub fruits and vegetables under running water—even if you do not plan to eat the peel. Germs on the peel or skin can get inside fruits and vegetables when you cut them. Washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, or commercial produce wash is not recommended.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Measures to prevent COVID-19 from entering your house

  1. When food or groceries are delivered to your home, tear off the cardboard or plastic packaging and let someone with clean hands draw the products out and bring them inside your home. Keep a waste bin outside and dispose of the package. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  1. If you are going to the market or grocery store, take a jute or nylon grocery bag with you. Wash your bag once you come home.
  2. The viruses can survive for a while on your fruits and vegetables. So they need to be disinfected. Soak them in water for 5 minutes with potassium permanganate and then rinse them. Or simply scrub them for 20 seconds under running water.  
  3. Rinse the counter or tabletop where you had set down your purchases.
  4. If your food is present in a tin or plastic container, wash it with soap and water.
  1. Clean your phone cover with cotton wool and alcohol-based solution when you come home.
  2. Try not to pay with cash as it changes hands numerous times. A banknote may contain the virus. Use online transactions wherever possible.
  3. Wash your clothes with water and detergent as soon as you come in. And don’t let anyone come in contact with you until you have cleaned yourself.


These are times when we can’t leave anything to chance. We must be fanatic about keeping ourselves and everything around us disinfected. This measure is as important as social distancing. Stay home, stay safe and maintain personal hygiene.

You can now assess yourself and your loved ones for Coronavirus risk at home with PharmEasy’s AI-Powered Bot – Covid Assist. Click below.

covid assist

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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Good advices