False: DO NOT SHARE
Washing fruit and vegetables in soapy water for 20 seconds will sterilise them from COVID-19.
False. There is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.
In this YouTube video, a man claims that washing fruit and vegetables in soapy water for 20 seconds will sterilise them from coronavirus, and is the only way to make sure that you will not contract COVID-19 from your food.
This is false, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ‘there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food’. The coronavirus [SARS-CoV-2] is spread from person to person through the transmission of small respiratory droplets containing the virus. As this coronavirus hasn’t been studied before, research is still being done on how long it can live on surfaces such as the skin of fruit and vegetables. Due to the lipid outer layer of the virus’s structure it can survive for some time on surfaces. It depends on the particular situation, but some estimate that the virus could remain contagious for several days on some hard surfaces.
However, soap and alcohol can disrupt and damage the structure of the virus, hence the importance of regularly washing hands with soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises washing hands and any surfaces that you think may have touched unclean surfaces that may harbour the coronavirus with soapy and water, rubbing hands together with friction covering each part of skin for approximately 20 seconds. The WHO says that you should wash your fruit and vegetables the same way you would in any other circumstances: after washing your hands, they recommend you rinse fruit and vegetables in clean water, especially if you eat them raw, therefore rinsing fruit with soap is unnecessary.
Origins of Claim
FULL TEXT OF CLAIM
“Dump it in some soapy water here, I’m going to come back and wash each one individually. I do think that the better you are at soaking the fruit, the better chances you have at getting it completely sterilised from coronavirus. According to the Centre for Disease Control we should wash our hands with soap, making sure to get lots of friction for about 20 seconds.”