March 26, 2020
Corona is smart.
She’s now focusing her efforts on the one place people are sure to go to even during the lockdown: supermarkets.
A heartbroken son has begged people to stay indoors and obey social distancing after his mother, 87, died from coronavirus after shopping in Asda, amid fears that supermarkets could become superspreaders of the killer illness.
Several major chains are now introducing new measures to try and enforce social distancing and protect staff, including a large quantity of hand sanitizer, gloves for workers and protective screens.
Having food exposed to everyone’s breath, coughs, sneezes, and touch is not really a good idea in general, independently of the coronavirus thing.
A virologist has confirmed that ‘every surface is a hazard’ when it comes to COVID-19 and supermarket customers should be particularly mindful of the loose fruit and vegetables in the store.
Associate professor at the University of Sydney, Timothy Newsome, specialises in infection, vaccines and virology, so has been following along closely as the coronavirus restrictions heighten in Australia.
He told FEMAIL that while the virus can live on most surfaces, patrons doing their weekly grocery shop should be particularly wary of the fruit and veg aisle as customers are constantly picking up and placing back down items.
‘We have to remember that every surface is potentially contaminated. And like with any surface there is a risk,’ Mr Newsome explained.
‘We don’t see it as high risk because that comes from sustained contact with other people, but nonetheless it’s important to be mindful.’
While it would be ‘poor practice’ to be testing ‘every avocado for coronavirus’, Mr Newsome did say anything people can touch poses a potential problem.
‘People working in the supermarkets should be picking all of the fruit and veg up and setting it back down with protection,’ he said.
Luckily he noted a large proportion of shelf stackers and general workers wearing gloves and disinfecting their hands at every turn.
The best course of action is to wash your fruit and vegetables with soap as soon as you bring them home, not simply relying on the high heat of cooking them to ‘kill’ the virus.
‘Wash them with warm soapy water, just as you do your hands,’ he said.
I’d rather literally eat coronavirus-coated food than put soap on my food.
Commercial soap is likely to mess with your hormones because it’s full of weird chemicals, and as a general rule of thumb, you want weird chemicals as far away from your body as possible.