FAQs: Sanitizing fruits, vegetables, medicine strips etc.
We all come across various pieces of information quite often about how to protect ourselves from the novel coronavirus. The government has issued several guidelines on ways to disinfect things to stay safe from the virus. But some basic questions about day-to-day living remain unanswered or are not clear enough. From whether you should sanitize fruits and vegetables to the right way to disinfect currency, here are some of the questions about coronavirus answered.
Should you sanitize fruits and vegetables? What is the right way to clean them
As per some experts, virus can remain active on fruits and vegetables for a few hours but if they are kept under Sun or exposed to heat in other forms, it can help.
Make sure not to handle vegetables or fruits immediately after you bring them home. Keep aside the packets for at least four hours. During these four hours, you should take off the packet and soak the vegetables in warm water with baking soda. Sanitiser should not be used on vegetables and fruits. Sanitizer is only meant for our body and other surfaces like steel and metal.
You can add a drop of potassium permanganate to water to disinfect your vegetables and fruits, which is another easy way.
Things that cannot be kept outside for four hours – cheese, milk and butter
With summer at its peak, the temperature is soaring high. Keeping a few items outside for long can spoil them. In this case, wash the packets with soapy water and immediately dispose off the outer packet.
What about cold drink cans and plastic boxes?
As per the lab findings, the virus can remain on plastic and metal surfaces for up to 24-48 hours. You should not put such items into the refrigerator immediately. Keep these things at room temperature, where no one comes in contact with them. Later you can wash these with warm soapy water before refrigerating.
Cooked food ordered from outside
The problem with the outside food is not the food but the way it’s handled. If the cooking process is thorough, the virus will not survive it. But because multiple people are involved in cooking, packing and delivering it, one must be careful. If you are ordering, make sure to discard the packaging immediately. If the box is of plastic, wash it carefully with soapy water.
There is yet no evidence that sanitizer works on medicine strips. When you buy some new medicine, just keep it closed in the box at room temperature for several hours. As the medicine would have come in contact with multiple hands, it’s best not get exposed to it right after you buy it. Do not keep the medicine in direct sunlight as that would affect their efficacy.
Currency and stationery
Try to keep the stationery and currency outside for 3-4 hours as sanitizer might not work on them. Though you can sanitize pencil and pens as sanitizer works on metal, plastic and wooden surfaces.
Shoes and clothes
The shoes that you wear outside your house should stay outside. There is a possibility that you could have stepped on an infected person’s spit or other contaminated surfaces when you went outside. When you come back home, soak all your clothes in warm water and then wash them in detergent thoroughly. If you have got new clothes, keep them in the balcony or verandah for at least 48 hours or wash them before wearing.
As many offices are starting to open, here are a few do’s and don’ts
– Carry your cutlery – glass, bottle, cup, spoon. Do not use the utensils from the pantry or canteen?
– Carry your power bank and charger, so that you do not have to borrow someone else’s.
– Carry a bottle of sanitizer and sanitizer wipes. Clean your desk and laptop before you start working.
– Avoid touching the lift buttons, railings, doorknobs and other commonly used surfaces. If you do touch any of these, make sure to wash or sanitize your hands immediately.
– When you come back home, sanitize and wash everything you took with you accordingly. Take a bath immediately.
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