Consumers should never ingest or inject disinfectants!

By Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director

The President of the United States speculated at a press conference this past week that since disinfectants kills germs on surfaces, perhaps someone should look into whether humans should ingest or even inject disinfectants.

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute,” Trump said during Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing. “And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

Under no circumstances should any of these cleaning products be ingested! THEY ARE POISONOUS!

Sadly, some consumers considered seriously Trump’s suggestion. Poison centers in New York and Illinois reported a doubling of calls after Trump’s statements.

Consumer and product safety groups like NCL have worked for years with makers of disinfectants and bleaches with brand names like Lysol, Chlorox, and Fantastic to prevent accidental ingestion of these products. Children used to die in large numbers from ingesting cleaning products, but they can harm or kill adults too.

To its credit, Proctor & Gamble, makers of Clorox, issued this statement after Trump’s remarks: “Bleach and other disinfectants are not suitable for consumption or injection under any circumstance.”

Makers of Lysol issued this statement: “As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).”

Consumer organizations were behind passage of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970, which provides child-resistant packaging to protect kids from getting into products under the sink. Since the PPPA’s implementation, deaths in children aged five and under went down by 1.4 per million.

With COVID-19 overtaking this country, resulting in more than 53,000 deaths in the United States alone to date—and growing daily—we need accurate and honest information from our leaders. We do not want consumers exposing themselves to hazards from ingesting cleaning products.

Consumers: do not ingest or inject household cleaning products. THEY ARE POISONOUS if consumed. A network of poison control centers exist around the nation. Visit https://aapcc.org to get your questions answered 24 hours a day. They are the experts!

Coronavirus and food safety: What you need to know

By Nailah John, Linda Golodner Food Safety and Nutrition Fellow

Perhaps some of the only good news about the Covid-19 is that food is not the primary way that the virus can be spread. According to Harvard Medical School, “We are still learning about transmission of COVID-19. It’s not clear if this is possible, but if so, it would be more likely to be the exception than the rule. That said, COVID-19 and other coronaviruses have been detected in the stool of certain patients, so we currently cannot rule out the possibility of occasional transmission from infected food handlers. The virus would likely be killed by cooking.”

Great, but not all foods can or are intended to be cooked – think of deli meats, cole slaw, potato salad, cheeses, salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, pastry, butter, cream cheese; so if the mainstay of a deli or restaurant is “fresh” foods, spreading the virus is a real threat if the right precautions are taken.

And COVID-19 has made us all keenly aware of the importance of wiping surfaces and washing hands frequently, especially when handling food. We also know that COVID-19 can’t typically be transmitted from food or from food packaging. But we do have suggestions.

Food safety measures one should take:

  • Wash your hands the right way: Use plain soap and water- skip the antibacterial soap, scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails for about 20 seconds, if you need to time yourself sing the chorus of your favorite song twice. Rinse your hands, and then dry them with a clean towel. Remember to wash your hands often especially since COVID-19 lives on surfaces for an extended period.
  • Wash surfaces and utensils after each use: Wash cutting boards, utensils countertops with hot, soapy water, especially if you had raw meat, seafood, poultry or eggs on these surfaces. Don’t cross contaminate!
  • Remember it is very important to wash your dishcloths in a hot cycle of your washing machine, sometimes we forget this key element to food safety.
  • Learn more from FoodSafety.gov.

Food safety is paramount in our day-to-day lives – it’s so important that we take the necessary steps not to expose ourselves – whether eating in a restaurant or cooking at home, to COVID-19. Remember eat healthy, nutritious foods and take all the steps needed in preparing a safe meal for you and your family.