Let’s survive the coronavirus pandemic

How to disinfect packaged food

See also How to disinfect fruits and vegetables.

Food packages should be disinfected because they were handled by workers who may have had virus particles on their hands or gloves. Gloves can get as dirty as hands. Here’s how to do it.

This method works on all waterproof packaging: cans, plastic bags, jars, milk containers, waxed cardboard boxes, etc. Don’t use it on cloth or plain paper because the solution can soak through and make the food taste bad.

Viruses survive longer in cold temperatures — up to a month — so it’s especially important to disinfect refrigerated and frozen items.

Step by Step

Step 1. Get a spray bottle. You can buy one or reuse one that contained a purchased product.

Example of 16 ounce spray bottles. See them on Amazon.

Step 2. Get bleach that contains sodium hypochlorite as the active ingredient. I like to use food-safe bleach because it leaves less residue after it dries. See this page for information about food-safe bleach.

Example of food-safe bleach. See it on Amazon.

Step 3. Mix 1 teaspoon of bleach into 1 pint of water (about 3 tablespoons per gallon) and put the mixture in the spray bottle. Don’t save this mixture for more than a day. The mixture should smell like chlorine (like a swimming pool). If it doesn’t, your bleach is probably old and you should get a new bottle.

Step 4. Spray the packages. Get them dripping wet on all surfaces. They should remain dripping wet for at least five minutes.

Step 5. If you want to rinse them with plain water, you can, but it’s not necessary.

Step 6. Let the packages dry.


Available chlorine in fresh solution before contact with organic matter:

Percent NaOCl in bleach
1 tsp bleach/pint H20
3 tbsp bleach/gal H20
Percent NaOCl in bleach
1 tsp bleach/pint H20
500 ppm
3 tbsp bleach/gal H20
562 ppm
Percent NaOCl in bleach
1 tsp bleach/pint H20
600 ppm
3 tbsp bleach/gal H20
675 ppm
Percent NaOCl in bleach
1 tsp bleach/pint H20
800 ppm
3 tbsp bleach/gal H20
900 ppm


Recent posts

Many people are making this mistake about the pandemic (March 28, 2020)

Covid-19 is now clearly visible in flu/pneumonia stats (March 27, 2020)

What Hannity should have asked Trump (March 27, 2020)

Greg Cochran doesn’t suffer fools gladly (March 27, 2020)

The United States is on a uniquely dreadful trajectory (March 26, 2020)

That didn’t take long (March 23, 2020)

How to disinfect packaged food (March 21, 2020)

US covid-19 cases are now showing up in statistics (March 20, 2020)

How to disinfect fruits and vegetables (March 17, 2020)

An email conversation between a friend and me (March 15, 2020)

Why don’t US covid-19 cases show up in flu/pneumonia stats — or do they? (March 14, 2020)

The next president of the United States will not be Donald Trump or Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders (March 14, 2020)

Can I catch covid-19 from boxes, objects from the store, letters, etc? (March 12, 2020)

Fatality rates will be different in different European countries, and here’s one reason why (March 10, 2020)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *