Washing your food with soap won’t kill coronavirus—but it could make you very sick

| | April 6, 2020
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The debate around giving your fruits and veggies a bubble bath blew up [in late March] following a viral video in which a family doctor from Michigan said soap and water was a good way to keep veggies COVID-19 free, which sounds like it makes sense (treat your honeydew melon as you would your hands).

Since then a whole bunch of experts have refuted this advice, many pointing out that of the 1-million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, not a single one has come from contaminated food. Still not convinced?

Okay, there is also this from the FDA: “Washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent, or commercial produce wash is not recommended.”

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Jodi Koberinski, a food safety researcher at the University of Waterloo, agrees, noting that dish soap is likely to cause more problems than it solves including nausea, diarrhea, and cramping. “It is not made for and not safe for human consumption,” she explains.

In other words, contracting COVID-19 through produce isn’t something you need to stress about. So chill out. And then do the same for your produce, washing them in cold (wan-wan) water, which will remove between 90% and 99% of germs and bacteria.

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