Grocery shopping is one of the things we can still do here in Los Angeles, as it’s essential for feeding ourselves and our families. But we want to do it as safely as possible, and once the food is back in our houses, we need to take steps to make sure our groceries are sanitized and safe.
Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen has made a video with some of the steps he recommends for Safe Grocery Handling whenever we bring home groceries, or whenever we get food delivered. It’s sobering and useful.
This doctor is basically showing us how to adapt sterilization techniques used by surgeons and operating rooms to at-home food safety. Watch and let us know what you think.
Food Safety Basics
To recap the doctor’s tips for best practices when handling groceries safely:
• If you can, leave the groceries outside for 3 days before bringing them inside.
• If you get food delivered, do not let the delivery person into your home.
• Sanitize your countertop – make half clean and half the “dirty” side
• Wipe down plastics.
• Take cereal out of the box.
• Wash your cloth bags after taking them to the store.
And there are more tips – please watch the whole thing.
The FDA published safe food handling rules a long time ago, but it might be time to refresh our memories, especially since many people may be cooking more than usual.
You can click through and read them all in detail, but the key takeaways for us are the fact that some types of food should not be “co-mingled” with others, you should always wash your hands and the surfaces you prepare food on, and you need to keep things cold. (Obviously, there is a lot more to it, so please read them for yourself.)
Kitchen Safety Basics
The other thing to remember about food safety is Kitchen Safety. Knives need to be kept sharpened, because dull knives can be dangerous to use, but sharp knives also present a danger – to our hands and fingers. Please use all care when chopping.
It’s also a good idea to have a basic fire prevention plan in place for your kitchen, since grease fires are possible on the stove. Having a fire extinguisher close by is not a bad idea. And it would be smart to brush up on tips for putting out fires at home. The Burbank Fire Department has a terrific Kitchen Safety checklist.
Grocery Shopping Safety
When you’re at the Grocery Store, it’s important to remember to keep a safe distance from other people (at least 6 feet), and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to wipe down the grocery cart handles with a disinfectant wipe. You can also choose to wear disposable gloves while you’re in the store. Just be sure to discard them and don’t re-use them.
When you’re in the store, don’t touch items unless you really want to buy them – it’s helpful to others and we hope others will do the same. And submit to the new paradigm: make a list. Plan your trip to the supermarket; do not shop haphazardly. You’ll spend less time there. And if you are showing any signs of being ill, please do not go out.
We never want anyone to worry too much, but we do hope that everyone stays as safe as possible, and as healthy as possible, for as long as possible.