Food safety tips

A lot of us are suddenly making more meals at home than ever before. Most of us are hunkering down in our homes and only venturing out for necessities like groceries. In nearly all areas of the US, people are still able to go to the grocery store (even if some staples are rarely in stock), but even these necessary journeys come with some risk. You might be wondering how you can best mitigate this risk. A Michgan-based family physician named Jeffrey VanWingen has answered this question in a video that explains his method for reducing any virus that may be present on the groceries you buy:

Dr. VanWingen’s method may seem excessive, but epidemiologists generally agree that erring on the side of caution is a prudent measure. I had to get groceries yesterday, and I followed this method. It took me about 20 minutes to clean and put away all of the items I bought, which included a lot of fresh produce that needed to be individually washed. Even though I planned to take all of the measures in the video, I somehow managed to forget to remove my shoes!

One thing I found helpful was to pre-arrange several clean bowls in which to dump produce. This kept me from having to re-wash my hands each time I moved from one item to another because I didn’t have to go into the cupboard to pull out a new bowl. I had them lined up on my kitchen counter, and poured the fruits or veggies from their plastic bag as demonstrated in the video. Having a process to follow did provide some reassurance that I was doing what I could to stay healthy.

Edit: Some food safety professionals disagree with Dr. VanWingen. One of these professionals, microbiologist Don Schaffner of Rutgers University, just posted a long Twitter thread of what he feels are errors in this video. He disagrees with using soap on produce, and feels that other measures in the video are unnecessary.

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