MYNORTHWEST NEWS

WA Department of Health: ‘No reason’ to disinfect groceries

Mar 30, 2020, 7:16 AM | Updated: 7:52 am

groceries, coronavirus...

A Trader Joe's in Burien. (MyNorthwest photo)

(MyNorthwest photo)

Out of an abundance of caution, many people have taken to disinfecting their groceries after returning home from the store, something the Washington State Department of Health says isn’t actually necessary.

How to get groceries without leaving your home

“We have no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is spreading through food at all,” the state DOH said in a recent blog post on Medium. “When you return home from the grocery store, please thoroughly wash your hands, but there is no reason to try to disinfect your groceries.”

The DOH notes that coronavirus spreads most prominently through “tiny droplets in the air after someone coughs or sneezes,” and that while it is “also possible for the virus to spread through droplets on hard surfaces, this is also not the main way it spreads.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration holds a similar stance, noting that there is “no evidence of human or animal food packaging being associated with transmission of coronavirus.”

This is further backed up by other medical experts as well, including Dr. Joseph Vinetz, a Yale professor who specializes in infectious diseases.

“I haven’t seen one iota of evidence that grocery shopping, newspapers, or packages have ever introduced an infection to somebody,” said Dr. Vinetz.

Washington grocery stores take steps to restock dwindling supplies

That said, it’s still advisable to take other social distancing precautions while out shopping — that includes maintaining six feet of distance from others, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands upon returning home.

In terms of the actual shopping itself, the Washington DOH points out that “there is no need to worry about shortages, and no need to stock up,” recommending that you have enough groceries to ensure you don’t have to leave the house more than once a week.

MyNorthwest News

uw president cauce...

Frank Sumrall

UW President Ana Mari Cauce to step down after 10 years

UW President Ana Mari Cauce will step down from leading the university once her second five-year term ends in June 2025.

60 minutes ago

Image: All lanes on Interstate 5 south in Everett were closed on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. It cause...

Steve Coogan

All lanes have reopened on I-5 south in Everett after an unexpected closure

All lanes reopened on Interstate 5 (I-5) south in Everett after an incident closed them Wednesday, the Department of Transportation reported.

1 hour ago

Image: A dog was found around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at Colman Dock in Seattle without ...

Steve Coogan

Is your friend missing? Dog found on a Washington ferry without its owner

A dog was found without its owner in Seattle early Wednesday and Washington State Ferries is attempting to reunite the two.

2 hours ago

Photo: Front and back of Olympic "Boys in the Boat" rower John White's gold medal....

Julia Dallas

Family of ‘Boys in the Boat’ rower yearns to bring gold medal home

"Boys in the Boat" rower John White's Olympic gold medal was put up for auction. His grandson Colby White is fighting to get it back.

2 hours ago

Sinatra-McCaw...

Feliks Banel

Frank Sinatra still sings in Seattle

On a late spring day nearly 60 years ago, one of the biggest names in show business came to Seattle and played a concert on a Sunday evening. It turned out to be a show that’s been echoing in some parts of the music world ever since.

3 hours ago

tacoma fire...

Frank Sumrall

One person, two dogs dead in Tacoma apartment building fire

Firefighters found one person and two dogs dead inside a Tacoma apartment following a fire there early Wednesday.

5 hours ago

WA Department of Health: ‘No reason’ to disinfect groceries