Food Safety and Home Care
Our home economists answer many questions about the home including food safety, how to clean and disinfect your home, and more. We have put together some information on food safety and home care that have been asked about the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis.
Normally, dishes washed and rinsed in hot soapy water will be sanitized for regular use. Air drying prevents any recontamination from potentially unclean drying linens. Dishwashers use much hotter water temperatures and will do a great job of sanitizing your dishes.
Laundering clothes, towels and bedding as usual is recommended, except in very unusual circumstances. Use the hottest temperature in your washer and dryer that the fabric will tolerate, as this seems to remove more stains. If you want to use hotter temperatures, use alternate clothes, bedding and towels. Then your ‘good’ clothes, your beautiful bedding and colourful towels will still be in great shape for the future.
Be sure to wash your hands often and completely. Follow hand washing instructions as set out by Alberta Health Services:
- Use warm water
- Use enough soap to cover hands, including fingers, palms, back of hands, and wrists
- Washing your hands should take between 15 - 30 seconds (sing Happy Birthday twice)
- Rinse hands and pat dry
How to Disinfect
It may be important to sanitize or disinfect an area of your house. First, clean the area using hot soapy water. Next, use a solution of disinfectant bleach and water: 2 tbsp bleach to 4 cups of water. Make sure to make up this solution daily when using.
Making Your Own Products
There are lots of homemade “recipes” using natural or non-toxic products for cleaning. These may be great for cleaning but should not be depended on for sanitizing or disinfecting.
These products may have some antibacterial properties but the effectiveness against a virus such as the one we are fighting now is unknown. We recommend that you use commercial products to sanitize or disinfect properly and that you use them exactly as recommended.
The World Health Organization does not recommend making your own hand sanitizer as any mistake in the proportions of ingredients can result in something that is not effective. Hand washing with soap and water for 15 - 30 seconds, then drying hands well is still the best defense.
Need a guide on what to buy during your social isolation? We've got you covered. Don't panic, buy smart and get the essentials for your pantry and use them in plenty of delicious recipes!