Everyday handling of packaged food and fresh produce
The risk of infection by the virus from food products, food packaging, or bags is thought to be very low. Currently, no cases of COVID-19 have been identified where infection was thought to have occurred by touching food, food packaging, or shopping bags. It is always important to follow good food safety practices to reduce the risk of illness from common foodborne pathogens.
Handling packaged food
- When unpacking groceries, refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and other perishables within 2 hours of purchasing.
- Do NOT use disinfectants designed for hard surfaces, such as bleach or ammonia, on food packaged in cardboard or plastic wrap.
- If reusable cloth bags become soiled, follow instructions for washing them, and dry them on the warmest appropriate setting.
Handling and cleaning fresh produce
- Do NOT wash produce with soap, bleach, sanitizer, alcohol, disinfectant or any other chemical.
- Gently rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under cold, running tap water.
- Scrub uncut firm produce (e.g., potatoes, cucumbers, melons) with a clean brush, even if you don’t plan to eat the peel.
- Salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon juice, and lime juice have not been shown to be effective at removing germs on produce.