To sanitize or not to sanitize? The struggle is immense! Each time we bring home groceries and other food items, we face this dilemma. The pandemic has traumatized us enough and created immense confusion regarding how to keep ourselves safe from the deadly virus. Several theories have come up. So have myths. What about delving into the facts and coming up with some realistic practices instead? Let us start with the vegetables we buy. Studies have shown that the virus is likely to remain on raw vegetables and fruits for 6 to 8 hours. If exposed to heat, the time period can reduce to 4 hours or so. So, you can think of keeping the vegetables as it is for at least 4 hours after you bring them home and then wash them with warm water and baking soda. Using sanitizers on vegetables and fruits is absolutely not advisable. The chemicals present in the sanitizers can cause greater harm to your system. Using warm water with baking soda is enough. For food items like onions, potatoes, or bananas, which cannot be washed with warm water, keep them in a box or isolated container for 3-4 hours before cooking or consuming them. Next comes food items that reach us in packets. For example, all of us buy milk, cheese, etc. in packets and the same items cannot be kept outside at room temperature for a long time. You can use mild soapy water to clean them. For cold drink cans or bottles, keep them in an isolated place for at least 24 hours without human exposure. If you are ordering food from a restaurant, don’t worry! The food has already been cooked at an elevated temperature in which the virus cannot remain alive. The concern here would be the packets used for delivering the food items. Discard the boxes immediately after receiving the parcel, wash your hands and reheat the food before consumption. Embracing such small disinfecting tactics can help you in keeping the virus away. There is no need to panic or overdo it. Just get into the habit and stay safe!

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