(CNN/Meredith) -- Americans have been warned to avoid places like the grocery store during the next two weeks as the coronavirus pandemic is expected to be at its worst.

But if you have to go, or if you have items delivered, there are steps you can take to make sure you're not bringing the virus into your home.

While the CDC has said there's a very low risk of transmission of the virus from food packaging, studies have shown the virus can survive on some surfaces like plastic and metal for days.

So wiping down cans, glass and plastic containers, or cardboard boxes of food with a disinfectant wipe can help keep you safe.

To properly clean your groceries:

  1. Wash your hands immediately when you get home.
  2. Create a “dirty” space on your counter and a “clean” space. Start with all the groceries on the “dirty” side. Wipe down every item with a disinfectant wipe and place it on the “clean” space, or put them straight away.
  3. Wash your produce with soap and water.
  4. Wipe down your counter (and any surface touched by the groceries or grocery bags) with disinfectant once all the groceries are put away.
  5. Throw away all grocery bags, or wash and sanitize reusable bags.
  6. Wipe down your refrigerator door handles, pantry and cabinet handles that you touched while putting away the groceries. It’s a good idea to also wipe down the handles of the door you entered your home in – you touched that handle to come inside.
  7. Wipe down other items that you may have touched while in the store, like your phone, keys, wallet, credit cards and purse.
  8. When you’re done, make sure to wash your hands.

This process may seem inconvenient, but it’s worth the extra steps to keep you and your loved ones healthy.

Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

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