Many of us have seen it, that Doctor who is giving you detailed instructions on how to clean up your groceries after you get them home. He’s stressed out and so are you by the end of it! And the video has TWENTY MILLION views. : – O
That is a lot of stressed out people. As if we’re all not stressed enough already.
Thoughts from dietitians
My oncology dietitian friend posted the video on her feed and asked for dietitian feedback. I love dietitian crowd sourcing because when it comes to food we are a very scientific and also very pragmatic group. That’s what we’re trained for!
Not just to understand the science of food and nutrition and how it nourishes our body, but equally as important is that our training makes us experts at translating that information into giving advice on practical everyday choices you can make for yourself and your family.
Us dietitians prefer not to freak out about food related things. We will educate you on the facts and help you make a reasonable choice.
Here were the responses from oncology dietitians that I know from all over the country!
- “I can’t find anything on the CDC or FDA websites that endorses the type of cleaning this well-intentioned doctor is suggesting. They might be good steps to take if someone is caring for someone at home who is infected and trying to minimize spread in the home, but I’m afraid this is a lot of work/fear, for limited benefit over and above handwashing and other recommended precautions.”
- “People carry covid. I think this is overblown. Makes people worry about things that aren’t necessary. ”
- “This is so unnecessary. Breeds anxiety and paranoia.”
- “This video (the guy) echos the potential spreading of information/misinformation in the nutrition world.”
- “When someone sounds glib and intelligent and shares “some truthful/accurate information” smart, intelligent people will believe it”
- “Wiping everything down with the same paper towel doesn’t seem to fit his point”
- “He also said the outside of the fruit is porous like skin, so without saying it, he’s saying the soap will makes it’s way to the inside.”
Other things that were pointed out about the video:
- VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER! Coronavirus is NOT a foodborne illness. There is currently is no evidence of someone transmitting coronavirus via food packaging or food itself.
- One person noted that the doctor is internal medicine doc, not an infectious disease expert
- It is NOT RECOMMENDED to wash produce with soap. Read my post about that here!
What Do We Know About Grocery Shopping During This Pandemic:
Basically, the likelihood of transmitting the disease from food or packaging is low.
You do want to use common sense measures like not touching your face while shopping, using sanitizer after leaving the store and/or washing your hands as soon as you get home, rinsing your produce before you eat it, and cooking foods to proper temperatures!
What does Julie do? I have actually been avoiding the store as much as possible. Why? Because delivery is amazing, that’s why! And I don’t stress that my delivery person is contaminated. I put the food in my pantry and fridge and use my same food safety techniques as usual.
Also, when I needed bananas, I did go to the store for myself. I kept my distance, didn’t even use a cart or a bag and used a real checkout person because the self checkout was long and I was in a hurry!
No, I did not wipe my bananas down with wipes. I washed my hands before I ate. And I enjoyed every bite. YUM!
Check out the following science based resources:
- NC State (My Alma Mater, GO WOLFPACK!) has a great page on food safety and COVID-19. Here’s a handy graphic they made regarding grocery food!
- Serious Eats has a GREAT page with information regarding food safety and COVID-19.
- Also, check out this article from the Washington Post, which does a good job of summarizing the issue. I really like how they walk you through the worst case scenario, which is so unlikely and even if it happened, you would not likely contract disease. We can all calm down about it!
Bottom Line from the article:
We can never eliminate all risk; the goal is to minimize it — because we all will occasionally need to go grocery shopping and receive supplies in the mail.Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/26/dont-panic-about-shopping-getting-delivery-or-accepting-packages/
But if you take basic precautions, including washing your hands frequently, the danger from accepting a package from a delivery driver or from takeout from a local restaurant or from buying groceries is de minimis. That’s a scientific way of saying, “The risks are small, and manageable.”
I hope this is helpful to ease your concerns about grocery shopping. We all need to find things to do these days that bring joy, and cooking can be one of those!
Stay Calm. Stay Home. Enjoy Good Food!