Supermarkets and food stores are one of the few establishments still open after the state of alarm decreed by the Spanish government to stop the spread of coronavirus. However, this does not mean that they are safe places, free of transmission of the virus. In this sense, Harvard T. H. Chan, Harvard University’s School of Public Health, warns about the handles of shopping carts and baskets, concluding that they are the biggest source of transmission of Covid-19 when it comes to shopping.
The truth is that a few weeks ago, when the pandemic began to spread globally, a team from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases quantified the time the virus remained in the environment: three hours suspended in the air, four hours in the copper of coins, a whole day in cardboard and two to three days in plastic and in a stainless steel faucet.
It is therefore reasonable Harvard’s warning about carts and the handles of supermarket baskets since, as they are made of plastic or steel, the virus can remain up to three days on their surface and, between uses, they are not disinfected. Therefore, the best option is for us to carry our own bag from home and put in it everything we are going to buy. In the event of not being able to do so because our purchase will be too large, it is essential that we use gloves, either carrying our own or using those provided by most supermarkets.