Michigan doctor reminds you to clean groceries before storage

Posted at 9:31 AM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 10:53:04-04

A Grand Rapids doctor is on a mission to educate people during the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen has posted videos to his YouTube page, showing viewers how to properly sanitize their groceries before storing them in their cupboards and cabinets.

"We have a dilemma in society that we need to eat to live, but we also need to get food and getting food is now risky," said VanWingen in a YouTube video, where he explains how food becomes contaminants by shoppers touching it. The containers and food you eat may be contaminated with the novel coronavirus and could be putting your family at risk.

"Stores are doing a good job and to their credit, they are sanitizing at night," said VanWingen.

"But they are not cleaning every single canned good, every single bit of food that is wrapped in plastic. That is up to us. It’s not just about wiping the handle on the grocery cart. We need to be a bit more savvy when we go into the store."

Throughout the course of his video, VanWingen shows viewers how to sanitize food: fruits, vegetables, cardboard wrapping, plastic wrapping and other types of goods.

For fruits and vegetables, he recommends soaking them in soapy water. Then, wash them for about 20 seconds each, the length of time you should wash your hands for.

The National Institute of Health says COVID-19 could live up to 24 hours on cardboard surfaces and as long as three days for surfaces like plastic or similar materials. VanWingen recommends washing these surfaces down with sanitizing wipes or solution.

For food such as bread, the exterior may be contaminated, but the food inside likely will not have any type of exposure. VanWingen says the best option is to carefully remove the package and without touching the food, place it into a clean container such as Tubberware.

If you would like to support local businesses, now is the best time to order hot take-out food. When you receive, VanWingen recommends taking it out of the packaging without touching it. Then, heat it up for a significant period of time prior to eating it. Heat is known to kill COVID-19.

If you would like to see VanWingen's YouTube page, you can click this link here . So far, his initial video has more than 80,000 views on it.

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