No trace of SarsCov2 on supermarket products, reduced the risk of contagion due to "contact" with objects

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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The coronavirus does not stay on the surface of supermarket food packaging. This is said by the Spanish Consumer Organization.

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

The coronavirus does not remain on the surface of the food packages we buy at the supermarket. To say this is the Spanish Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), which conducted a study on 66 products from 10 different supermarkets in 4 Spanish locations and established that food packaging is not contaminated by the coronavirus.

After the growing demand of consumers when going to the supermarket, the Organization has decided to clarify whether the fears of being infected are well founded or not. While it is true that by now all the structures have considerably reinforced the safety measures with masks, screens, gloves and disinfectant gels, the fear of taking home contaminated products is very common among customers.

But we must rest assured and, above all, start from the small commercial realities that now more than ever need our contribution.

Let's start by buying from small shops, the real lifeblood of our country

In short, the analysis conducted by the Ocu did not find traces of the virus on products. Going to the supermarket has become a matter of great concern for many people who are afraid of contracting the virus. First of all because one finds oneself exposed in the midst of other people and then because a thousand thoughts have also led to the supposition that even the food purchased could be contaminated.


A systematic review

Ocu experts bought 66 different food products in the last week of April, in 10 supermarkets in 8 different distribution chains of the main brands and in 4 different and distant Spanish cities: Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Vitoria and La Coruña.

The selected products included different brands of flour, chocolate bars, bags of potato chips, bread, beer, loose apples, yogurt, packaged salads, ready-made potato tortillas, tubed meat, smoked salmon and toilet paper.

These were products that experienced an increase in demand during the lockdown and were sold using different types of packaging (cardboard, plastic, polystyrene, aluminum).

The analysis was conducted by an independent laboratory using the PCR technique, which we have heard so much about these days: as with people, a swab was passed over the entire surface of the container. This technique is based on the search for genetic material (RNA) specific for this virus (in particular, a sequence of the genome that codes for a protein of the virus envelope was searched). When analyzing RNA, even if the virus has been inactive for a long time, PCR will always detect it.

Result: 0 positive on 66 analyzes

No Covid-19 genetic material was detected in any of the study samples.

“Obviously it's just a photo we wanted to take to get an idea of ​​the food packaging situation - they say from the Ocu. A photo whose results show us that it is not so easy for the virus to land on the surface of a container so that it can infect us later ”.

However, we must continue to maintain the same precautionary measures we have taken so far and keep in mind the tips for keeping the virus away from home for quite a while:

  • try not to shop frequently, better only when necessary
  • go to the supermarket alone if possible
  • wash your hands when you leave the house and when you come back
  • respect the rules established by your supermarket or dealer
  • wear gloves: many supermarkets make them available to customers at the entrance
  • don't forget the mask
  • respect safety distances with staff and other buyers
  • do not touch your nose, mouth and do not rub your eyes
  • try not to "fiddle" with the products on the shelves: go targeted
  • as far as possible, it is better to pay by card

Coronavirus, WHO recommends limiting banknotes: 'less cash, use cards, ATMs and electronic money'

  • Touch as little as possible those high-contact surfaces such as refrigerator doors, car handles, elevator buttons, etc.
  • once you leave the supermarket, take off your gloves and throw them in the special containers

Emergency masks and gloves thrown on the ground: binders are immediately needed in ports, parks, villas and supermarkets!

  • it is advisable to remove the outer cardboard packaging that some foods have. Beware that the expiration date or the lot can be indicated right there
  • it is preferable not to use disinfectants in those containers which may be porous

Covid-19, you don't have to disinfect all your shopping (just wash your hands)

The position of the WHO

The World Health Organization claims it has not yet found conclusive evidence that the coronavirus can be spread through contact with a surface, such as handles or keyboards. On his website, he goes on to point out that the droplets of saliva excreted by Covid-19 sufferers "can fall on objects and surfaces surrounding the person, such as tables, knobs and railings, so that other people could become infected if they touch those objects or surfaces and then touch the eyes, nose or mouth ".

In conclusion, the WHO itself maintains its recommendation in favor of the disinfection of surfaces and objects, when possible, for the tranquility of the population.

Sources: OCU / WHO

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