homepage logo

Disinfecting and sanitizing are not the same

By Staff | Mar 27, 2020

With all the news about COVID-19, some people are questioning if the virus can be spread by food.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no current scientific evidence supports the transmission of COVID-19 through food.

However, be sure to protect yourself in the kitchen by following general rules for proper food safety.

How can we protect ourselves? The CDC recommends that we clean our hands often. Wash your hands properly using the five steps:

1)Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.

2)Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.

3)Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Hum or sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice for a self-timer.

4)Rinse your hands under clean, running water.

5)Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Always wash your hands after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

If soap and water are not available at the time, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Cover all surfaces of your hands with the hand sanitizer and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Follow the CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting. Sanitizing and disinfecting are different things. Disinfection uses a higher concentration of bleach than sanitizing. Clean surfaces with water and soap prior to sanitizing or disinfecting.

For general kitchen sanitizing, a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented chlorine bleach per gallon of lukewarm (not hot) water is the usual recommendation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For “disinfecting” areas, use diluted household bleach solutions (4 teaspoons per quart of water), alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and Environmental Protection Agency-registered household disinfectants.Be sure to wear disposable gloves when disinfecting, and follow the precautions listed on the bleach bottle. Test a small area to be sure you are not damaging surfaces.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. These surfaces include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.

NDSU Extension Office Still Available

While many county offices across the state have restricted public access during this time, I’d like to remind citizens that there are other ways to get in touch with us. If you have a question for the Pierce County NDSU Extension office, please give us a call at 776-6234 ext. 5, email NDSU.Pierce.Extension@ndsu.eduor message us through our NDSU Extension Pierce County Facebook page. We’d be happy to help answer questions and connect you with information during this difficult time. We will also use our Facebook page to alert you to virtual and online program opportunities as they become available.

Since we are dealing with a very dynamic situation that is subject to change as we move forward, in the event that we must work remotely, we will continue to be available to take your calls and answer your questions. We will check voicemail and email messages several times a day in order to continue to be resource for accessing research-based information and evidence-based practices for families, communities and citizens.

– Submitted by Pierce County NDSU Extension Agent Yolanda Schmidt

Please Enter Your Facebook App ID. Required for FB Comments. Click here for FB Comments Settings page