There’s no need to disinfect your food packaging.
That’s the advice from the Irish food safety body safefood this morning, as the organisation issued some practical tips for householders during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Currently, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging,” said Dr Linda Gordon, Chief Specialist in Microbiology with safefood.
“A question we’re being asked a lot is whether people should wash or disinfect food packaging when they bring it home from shopping. The simple answer is no – it’s not necessary to sanitise the outside of food packaging as there is no current evidence that the virus can be transmitted in this way.
“The main risk of transmission is from close contact with infected people. Our advice is to maintain good hygiene habits and to wash your hands regularly and to follow current public health guidelines re social distancing.”
Be careful with leftovers – especially rice
With many people cooking a lot more than they usually do, Dr Gordon also had advice on how to deal with leftovers.
“Typically, if there is food leftover after a meal, get it into the fridge within two hours – you can help cool it more quickly by dividing it into smaller portions. However, remember that cooked rice is high-risk and must be cooled and put in the fridge within one hour. Any leftovers properly stored should be eaten with three days but if you’re in any doubt, throw it out into your brown bin.”
“If you’re going food shopping for yourself or others, wash your hands before you go and, as soon as you come home and again after you unpack your shopping.”
The latest data shows that March was the biggest month of grocery sales ever recorded in Ireland. The amount spent by each shopper is up 27%, with the average household spending an estimated additional €122 on groceries during the four weeks leading up to March 22nd.
Sales of items with a longer shelf life such as canned goods, rice and pasta increased by 32%, while fresh food sales grew by 16%.