The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County has sent along some important tips on how to safely disinfect your home.

Along with the increased use of disinfectants and sanitizers during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been several fraudulent products produced during this pandemic. It has come to our attention that unregistered disinfectants claiming to protect against the virus are being marketed in the US. The efficacy and safety of these products is unsubstantiated and their use is illegal. There has been an increase in adverse health effects from the misuse of these products

Disinfectants are pesticides and you can only use them as directed by the label. Therefore:

· Never mix different disinfectant products together because doing so is dangerous. For example, mixing bleach with acids (such as vinegar) or ammonia releases life-threatening toxic fumes.

· Never use disinfectants or disinfectant wipes on your skin. Instead, wash with soap and water; you can also use hand sanitizer on your hands.

· Never wash fruits and vegetables with soap, sanitizers, or disinfectants as this could also result in poisoning. Wash produce only in clean water.

In addition, follow these recommendations:

1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.

2. If damage or bruising occurs before eating or handling, cut away the damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.

3. Rinse produce BEFORE you peel it, so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable.

4. Gently rub produce while holding under plain running water. There’s no need to use soap or a produce wash.

5. Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers.

6. Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.

7. Remove the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.