What should I sanitize? Health expert weighs in on cleaning mail, groceries, and other items during COVID-19 pandemic

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As we all try to be as clean and safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic, many are wondering about the safety of bringing groceries, mail and more into their homes.

KFOR discussed best practices with the OKC-County Health Department.

To sanitize or not to sanitize? These are questions we face when bringing groceries home during this pandemic. 

“Try not to set your packages on a countertop for a long period of time,” said LToya Knighten with the OKC-County Health Department. 

Knighten says first find a designated spot and wash your hands before unpacking.

“Immediately put them inside your refrigerator or your pantry, wherever they need to go and then wipe your countertop down where those groceries were sitting,” she said. 

However, should you wipe them down first?

“So, if you have the opportunity, you have wipes available to do that, I definitely think that’s great,” said Knighten.

What about your fruit?

“You don’t want to put soap or alcohol or anything like that on your fruit but definitely washing it with warm water is going to be fine and then immediately putting it into the refrigerator,” Knighten said.

As for mail, Knighten says the CDC hasn’t given exact guidance on that yet.

“If you have that opportunity to be safe and spray your mail down with Lysol or wipe it down and let it sit for a bit before you open it, you’re probably going to be doing some great prevention there,” she said. 

After handling money or keypads at the grocery store, Knighten says wash your hands vigorously or sanitize them as soon as possible, adding that COVID-19 does live longer on certain objects than others.

“For instance, it will live a lot longer on metal than it will on paper, and so just be cognizant that you’re constantly washing your hands or using an alcohol-based sanitizer if you have that available,” she said.

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