Expert Pitch

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss How to Handle Groceries at Home

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 31, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Donald W. Schaffner is available for interviews on how to handle groceries safely at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you are concerned about the outside of food packages being contaminated, I suggest that you wash your hands or sanitize your hands before you sit down to eat any food that you might’ve taken out of those containers. And guess what, washing your hands before you eat is a best practice even when we’re not in a pandemic,” said Schaffner, an extension specialist in food science and distinguished professor in the Department of Food Science in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

“Soap should absolutely not be used to wash food,” Schaffner said. “It’s not designed for that. Soap can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. Current recommendations by scientific experts, including the FDA and USDA, say to wash fresh fruits and vegetables in cold water.”

Another important bit of advice to consider is whether it’s appropriate to even go to the grocery store at all, Schaffner said. According to the CDC, older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. If you fall into one of these categories, Schaffner suggests that you might want to consider using a shopping service or having a family member or neighbor do your shopping.  Remember that if that person does not live with you, you should practice appropriate social distancing when receiving your groceries.

“For people going to grocery stores, many are offering hand sanitizers at the entrance and are offering to sanitize grocery carts. I think these are two great ideas, and customers should take advantage of both of them,” Schaffner said. “My other advice is to make a list, so you know what you want. Keep moving and get out of the way as you move through the store picking out the items on your list. Practice appropriate social distancing, trying your best to keep 6 feet away from other shoppers. If there is hand sanitizer available, I use it when I’m exiting the store, and then I'll use it again at home once I finish putting all my groceries away and returning my reusable shopping bags to the car.”

“Many people use reusable grocery bags as a responsible choice. We do this in my family as well. It’s a best practice (even before the times of pandemic) to wash your reusable bags on a regular basis. While it is theoretically possible that a reusable bag may pick up germs, including coronavirus while in the grocery store, the biggest threat that anyone faces is someone else in the store who has COVID-19,” he said. “I would suggest that you keep your grocery bags in the car, so you have them handy the next time you go shopping. If you’re concerned that your bags might have coronavirus on them, you can wash them. You should also wash your hands after you have finished putting all your groceries away. This was good advice even before pandemic.”



                                                                       ###

Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino at [email protected]




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5639
access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 14-May-2021 2:40 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Access to overdose-reversing drugs declined during pandemic, researchers find
Beth Israel Lahey Health

In a new study, clinician-researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) analyzed naloxone prescription trends during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and compared them to trends in opioid prescriptions and to overall prescriptions.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT
No Excuses: Stop Procrastinating on These Key Health Checks
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A quick guide to the most-valuable preventive care that adults need to get scheduled, to catch up on what they may have missed during the height of the pandemic, and to address issues that the pandemic might have worsened.

Released: 13-May-2021 7:05 PM EDT
FLCCC Statement on the Irregular Actions of Public Health Agencies & the Disinformation Campaign Against Ivermectin
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

FLCCC Alliance calls for whistleblower to step forward from within WHO, the FDA, the NIH, Merck, or Unitaid to counter this misrepresentation

Newswise: shutterstock_1724336896.jpg
Released: 13-May-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Kreuter receives $1.9 million in grants to increase vaccinations in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew Kreuter, the Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the Brown School, has received $1.9 million in grants to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among Blacks in St. Louis City and County.

Released: 13-May-2021 11:35 AM EDT
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines are Immunogenic in Pregnant and Lactating Women, Including Against Viral Variants
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

In a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers evaluated the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. They found that both vaccines triggered immune responses in pregnant and lactating women.

Released: 13-May-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Pandemic stigma: Foreigners, doctors wrongly targeted for COVID-19 spread in India
Monash University

The Indian public blamed foreigners, minority groups and doctors for the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country during the first wave, due to misinformation, rumour and long-held discriminatory beliefs, according to an international study led by Monash University.

Released: 13-May-2021 9:15 AM EDT
28 Community Programs Receive Grants Through Penn Medicine CAREs Program
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Medicine CAREs awarded grants to 28 projects, many of which aim to fill vast needs in the community created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while others seek to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Showing results

110 of 5639

close
1.12562