Is it safe to wash vegetables with soap?

01/5 Why washing vegetables with soap is unsafe?
While half of the world is in under strict lock-down conditions and the other half is battling with COVID19 with their best capacities, the world is in no less than a ruckus at this point. The coronavirus is a virus that spreads through droplet transmission from one person to another and the internet is bombarded with suggestions to keep yourself protected from it. One of the most effective ways is to keep washing your hands at least 5 times a day with soap and water. That’s because soap can kill and remove any forms of viruses and bacteria from your hands and this can also prevent the virus from entering through the rest of your body.

02/5 A doctor from Michigan advised to wash fruits and vegetables with soap
Some people have decided to take one step ahead and have started washing almost everything that they are bringing from outside their home with soap. Recently, a video surfaced on the internet where Dr Jeffery VanWingen, a private doctor practising in Michigan could be seen advising people about grocery shopping in the times of coronavirus and how they could stay protected from it. Among many things, he advised his viewers to wash fruits and vegetables with soap and water. The video has gone viral and has over 16 million views. On being asked about it, he said, “That’s the most important piece of the message: If you don’t have to go out, don’t. But if you must, to get food, do so with caution.”

03/5 Is it safe?
A professor and safety specialist in North Carolina State University, Benjamin Chapman came forward saying that use of dish soaps or any kind of soap has always been harmful for consumption and may lead to various health problems. He said, “We’ve known for 60 years that there are toxicity issues about consuming household dish soaps. Drinking dish soap or eating it can lead to nausea can lead to [an] upset stomach. It’s not a compound that our stomach is built to deal with.” Chapman advised people to wash their fruits and vegetables with cold water instead as it gets 90-99% of germs out.

04/5 Keeping packaged food out doesn’t help
The video also had covered some points saying that helping people who are above 60 years of age by visiting the grocery store for the supplies they need can be a huge help. It has been found that the population above 60 years has been most affected by the coronavirus when it comes to the death toll. VanWingen also said in the video that groceries should be kept outside the house, in a place like a garage or porch if possible. This step can lead to a reduction of germs if the grocery items have any. This, of course, did not include frozen items. To which, Chapman said, “We don’t have any evidence that food or food packaging are transmission vehicles for coronavirus,” Chapman said. Keeping groceries away and then washing your hand with soap and water or simply sanitizing with some sanitizer is enough. For VanWingen’s suggestion of keeping the groceries out, Chapman said: “it’s not based on any science”.

05/5 Washing fruits and vegetables with water is enough
Hand cleaning was again given the utmost importance by food specialists and scientists all around the world and is said to be a “good habit for the pandemic and after it.” Washing fruits or vegetables with soap is in no way going to help but will rather create more health problems like nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, etc. This is the time when the internet is full of “solutions” to get rid of the virus but checking facts before any vacation is always necessary. One thing that all of us should understand from VanWingen’s video is that spending too much time in the grocery store with other people should be avoided as much as possible because it is highly possible to catch the virus at places that are visited by hundreds of people throughout the day. Out of which, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, infected people can pass on the infection.