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  • Oak Smoke
    Club Member
    • Aug 2018
    • 333
    • Central Texas

    Would this work?

    The knowledge base is so far reaching here that I hope I can get at least some well thought out opinions on this. We still do some business that requires that we get letters from USPS. If I were to put a letter in my 1200 watt microwave for say a minute would it be sterilized. In my career I worked with radioactive materials and had read some reports on irradiated foods, but I have no idea what effect microwaves have on a virus. I know that if the letter were damp the resulting steam would do the trick, but most of the ones we receive are dry thank goodness. What do you think?
  • Donw
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 2803

    #2
    No. The wavelength in a common microwave is around 3-4-5 inches long. I only know this because I helped a grandson with a science project where we measured the wavelength in house microwaves using common household items. Even with a rotating base you are going to miss a lot of these little critters. Better to hold the letters over boiling water for 5 minutes or just wipe them down with a disinfectant wipe and let them sit for a few minutes. The disinfectant wipes are what my wife’s office is doing.
    Last edited by Donw; March 29th, 2020, 12:32 PM.

    Comment

    • HouseHomey
      Club Member
      • May 2016
      • 5071
      • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
      • Equipment
        Primo Oval xl

        Slow n Sear (two)
        Drip n Griddle
        22" Weber Kettle
        26" Weber Kettle one touch
        Blackstone 36” Pro Series
        Sous vide machine
        Kitchen Aid
        Meat grinder
        sausage stuffer
        5 Crock Pots
        Akootrimonts
        Two chimneys (was 3 but rivets finally popped, down to 1)
        cast iron pans,
        Dutch ovens
        Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
        The help and preferences
        1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
        KBB
        FOGO
        A 9 year old princess foster child
        Patience and old patio furniture
        "Baby Girl" The cat

        Erik S.

      #3
      I’m not really sure. All I know is that it works on hot dogs.

      Spices I think are irradiated but for bacteria and not viruses?? Not sure there either.

      UV works on viruses but remains to be seen on this one. That’s all I got.

      Comment

      • Jim White
        Club Member
        • Sep 2019
        • 453
        • Gainesville, FL

        #4
        There's this bit in Kenji's article on coronavirus and food safety about killing the virus with heat:

        Temperatures and times for coronavirus are not yet fully researched, but scientists suggest a temperature of 149°F (65°C) for at least 3 minutes is sufficient. Experts assume that the virus will respond like other pathogens and that hotter temperatures will require shorter times, but we currently do not have experimental data to prove it.
        So I'd look for a way to get the materials that warm without overshooting to the point papers might try to ignite.

        Here in Florida, just leaving it in the car for a day in the sun would be way more than enough...

        Comment

        • fzxdoc
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 4881
          • My toys:
            Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
            Pit Barrel Cooker (which rocks)
            Weber Summit S650 Gas Grill
            Weber Kettle Premium 22"
            Weber Jumbo Joe Premium 22" (a weird little 22" kettle mutant on 22"-long legs) (donated to local battered women's shelter.)
            Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range


            Adrenaline BBQ Company's SnS, DnG and Large Charcoal Basket for WSCGC
            Adrenaline BBQ Company's Elevated SS Rack for WSCGC
            Adrenaline BBQ Company's SS Rack for DnG
            Grill Grate for SnS
            Grill Grates: five 17.375 sections (retired to storage)
            Grill Grates: six 19.25 panels for exact fit for Summit S650 gasser
            2 Grill Grate Griddles

            Fireboard Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
            Fireboard control unit in addition to that in the Extreme BBQ Package
            Additional Fireboard probes: Competition Probes 1" (3) and 4" (1), 3 additional Ambient Probes. 1 additional Food Probe
            2 Fireboard Driver Cables
            Pit Viper Fan (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
            Pit Viper Fan new design (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
            Thermoworks Thermapen MK5 (pink)
            Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 (pink too)
            Thermoworks Temp Test 2 Smart Thermometer
            Thermoworks Extra Big and Loud Timer
            Thermoworks Timestick Trio
            Maverick ET 73 a little workhorse with limited range
            Maverick ET 733
            Maverick (Ivation) ET 732

            Grill Pinz
            Vortex (two of them)

            Two Joule Sous Vide devices
            VacMaster Pro 350 Vacuum Sealer
            Instant Pot 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
            Instant Pot 10 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
            Charcoal Companion TurboQue
            A-Maze-N tube 12 inch tube smoker accessory for use with pellets

            BBQ Dragon and Dragon Chimney

            Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife
            Shun Classic 6" Chef's Knife
            Shun Classic Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
            Shun Classic 3 1/2 inch Paring Knife

          #5
          At this point for disinfecting items coming into our home, I keep it simple with at least a 2% Clorox bleach solution (degrades to useless after 5 days, so fresh batches are necessary) or a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution--I'm using 75% Everclear since there's no alcohol to be had in our area. The CDC recommends a 2% bleach solution for disinfecting. I choose to use a 10% Clorox solution like I was trained to use when doing medical research in grad school.

          Interestingly enough (and counterintuitively) the 95% Everclear is not as effective against coronavirus and should be diluted to 70%, from what I read. Also, I only trust Clorox bleach that has not expired; the cheaper bleaches, even when unexpired, are apparently not as effective, or at least that's what we were taught in the lab decontamination scenario.

          For our house, I use a 10% bleach solution in a spray bottle for disinfecting the mail and packages or I leave them in quarantine for several days.

          I unload and disinfect both groceries and mail on a table that I have set up in the garage. I wipe the table down with disinfectant after each use.

          For groceries, I remove each item from the grocery bags and disinfect the non-produce groceries that come in packages or bags with alcohol spray or wipes, let them sit for a while, and then carry them into the house. I leave the plastic grocery bags in the garage, no longer using reusable bags (sadly), and bag them up after several days for recycling.

          I use soap and water for fruits and veggies that can be rinsed off easily like tomatoes and apples, and Everclear spray for other veggies like blueberries and grapes. I wash the fruits and veggies in the sink in the laundry room, which is a few footsteps from the garage. When clean, I transfer them to colanders and carry them into the kitchen to be put away. I then disinfect the sink and surrounding counter area.

          My friends think this is overkill, but we have learned over the past three weeks that the definition of overkill when it comes to this virus is a moving target. Better safe than sorry, I tell myself.

          Kathryn

          Comment


          • Thunder77
            Thunder77 commented
            Editing a comment
            You can spray mail with bleach solution and not damage it?

          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, Thunder77 , 10% bleach solution is pretty mild. The CDC recommends 2% bleach solution which is even milder. It doesn't bleach off the writing or anything.

            I use a spray bottle with a fine mist and mist lightly but with good coverage. I wear gloves which of course are covered in bleach with this process. If the mail needs to be looked at immediately, I open the spritzed envelope in the garage, extract the documents, ditch the envelope, and put the document in a small basket....

          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            ...and carry the basket into the house after all the mail has been gone through.

            For magazines and things that don't have to be opened immediately, I either quarantine them for several days (some magazines come in plastic) or spritz, stand up on edge and let dry before taking into the house. It's easier to just quarantine them for a few days in the garage.

            I haven't ruined anything yet. And that included our tax returns envelope from the accountant. Whew!

            Kathryn
            Last edited by fzxdoc; April 1st, 2020, 06:36 AM.
        • rwhfly
          Club Member
          • Feb 2020
          • 44
          • Northern VA
          • My cookers:
            M1 from M Grills
            Big Green Egg
            Horizon 16" Classic with sliding convection system

            Electronics:
            DigiQ temperature control
            Thermoworks Smoke

          #6
          We pop our mail and newspaper into the oven at ~200 for 15 or so minutes. Doesn't effect the paper at all but the little clear plastic windows in the letters crinkle up and fall out...

          Comment

          • RonB
            Club Member
            • Apr 2016
            • 12326
            • Near Richmond VA
            • Weber Performer Deluxe
              SNS
              Pizza insert
              Rotisserie
              Smokenator 1000
              Cookshack Smokette Elite
              2 Thermapens
              Chefalarm
              Dot
              lots of probes.
              CyberQ

            #7
            I just burn our mail. We don't get anything important anyway...

            Comment


            • JCGrill
              JCGrill commented
              Editing a comment
              Me either, mostly people asking me for money or telling me I already owe them money.
          • Thunder77
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 2747
            • Halethorpe, MD
            • Weber 26.75" Kettle with SnS. Broil King Baron 5 burner. Akorn Kamado, and Akorn Jr kamado. Primo Oval Junior. Love grilling steaks, ribs, and chicken. Need to master smoked salmon Favorite cool weather beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest Favorite warm weather beer: Yuengling Traditional Lager All-time favorite drink: Single Malt Scotch

            #8
            The USPS has issued a statement to that effect. “There is no evidence that coronavirus is spread through the mail.
            https://about.usps.com/newsroom/stat...oronavirus.htm

            Comment


            • Oak Smoke
              Oak Smoke commented
              Editing a comment
              I can't tell you how secure that makes me feel. Hahaha!

            • treesmacker
              treesmacker commented
              Editing a comment
              I'll continue to handle mine very carefully - I just don't think we can be too careful with this monster!

            • Thunder77
              Thunder77 commented
              Editing a comment
              The CDC also has issued a similar statement. Caution is always prudent.
          • JGo37
            Club Member
            • Apr 2018
            • 1345
            • the LOU
            • Cookers:

              22" Blackstone Griddle, with stand & hood
              CharGriller Portable Firebox - so modified you'll BLOL
              Kitchenaid #810 Charcoal Grill - highly modified
              Weber BI-code Black Performer w/Igniter
              Weber DE-code Red Limited - 'Lucille'

              Accessories:

              Ancient heavy CI Propane Turkey Fryer, for lighting chimneys
              BBQ Dragon kettle shelves - 2
              Fyre Dragon Kettle Drippin' Ring, Burnin' Cone & Drippin' Pan - 2 sets
              Fyre Dragon Kettle Ribbin' Ring
              Fyre Dragon Kettle 2-Zone Smokin' Sheet
              OneGrill Rotisserie for the Kitchenaid
              Smokenator
              Smoking Tubes: 2x12" & 1x6"
              SnS
              Weber Gourmet Grill w/Griddle, Pizza Stone & Wok

              My Helpers:

              Anova 900W Sous Vide Cooker w/Radios
              Instant Pot 6Q Duo
              Nesco Tabletop Roaster
              & the PIT!

            #9
            The microscopic corona virus isn't alive until it joins with host material, and the microwave waves are too long to have an affect. fzxdoc nailed things in the above post = cleaning, not radio waves, does the job.

            Comment

            • Limos
              Former Member
              • Mar 2020
              • 2

              #10
              Originally posted by Jim White View Post
              So I'd look for a way to get the materials that warm without overshooting to the point papers might try to ignite.

              This sounds like the perfect job for a sous vide.

              (that said the the news keeps asking the experts about the mail and the experts keep saying not to worry about the mail).
              Last edited by Limos; March 30th, 2020, 10:59 PM.

              Comment

              • fzxdoc
                Founding Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 4881
                • My toys:
                  Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
                  Pit Barrel Cooker (which rocks)
                  Weber Summit S650 Gas Grill
                  Weber Kettle Premium 22"
                  Weber Jumbo Joe Premium 22" (a weird little 22" kettle mutant on 22"-long legs) (donated to local battered women's shelter.)
                  Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range


                  Adrenaline BBQ Company's SnS, DnG and Large Charcoal Basket for WSCGC
                  Adrenaline BBQ Company's Elevated SS Rack for WSCGC
                  Adrenaline BBQ Company's SS Rack for DnG
                  Grill Grate for SnS
                  Grill Grates: five 17.375 sections (retired to storage)
                  Grill Grates: six 19.25 panels for exact fit for Summit S650 gasser
                  2 Grill Grate Griddles

                  Fireboard Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
                  Fireboard control unit in addition to that in the Extreme BBQ Package
                  Additional Fireboard probes: Competition Probes 1" (3) and 4" (1), 3 additional Ambient Probes. 1 additional Food Probe
                  2 Fireboard Driver Cables
                  Pit Viper Fan (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                  Pit Viper Fan new design (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                  Thermoworks Thermapen MK5 (pink)
                  Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 (pink too)
                  Thermoworks Temp Test 2 Smart Thermometer
                  Thermoworks Extra Big and Loud Timer
                  Thermoworks Timestick Trio
                  Maverick ET 73 a little workhorse with limited range
                  Maverick ET 733
                  Maverick (Ivation) ET 732

                  Grill Pinz
                  Vortex (two of them)

                  Two Joule Sous Vide devices
                  VacMaster Pro 350 Vacuum Sealer
                  Instant Pot 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
                  Instant Pot 10 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
                  Charcoal Companion TurboQue
                  A-Maze-N tube 12 inch tube smoker accessory for use with pellets

                  BBQ Dragon and Dragon Chimney

                  Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife
                  Shun Classic 6" Chef's Knife
                  Shun Classic Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
                  Shun Classic 3 1/2 inch Paring Knife

                #11
                I'll continue to decontaminate the mail because common sense tells me that if the person delivering it happens to cough or sneeze as s/he is putting it into my mailbox and if, as experts say, the virus can live on cardboard 24 hours and porous surfaces somewhat less than that ( as short as 2-3 hours), I'm going to err on the side of caution. I'm not as concerned the processing of the mail phase as much as what happens during the actual delivery into our mailbox. But then I tend to err on the side of caution, so to each her/his own.

                Kathryn

                Comment


                • JGo37
                  JGo37 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  USPS workers were the first in my community infected, and continue to work if not requiring hospital care.

                • fzxdoc
                  fzxdoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That's sobering to hear, JGo37 .

                  Kathryn
              • TJMagneto
                Club Member
                • Mar 2017
                • 168
                • Visalia California

                #12
                As a health care worker I'm a little skeptical about what the CDC says as of late.

                Comment

                • troymeister
                  Charter Member
                  • Aug 2014
                  • 1293
                  • Forest Park Il
                  • Weber 26

                    Weber Performer 22.5, Weber 18.5, WSM 18.5, Smokey Joe

                    2 Slow N Sears, Charcoal Rotisserie, Kettle Pizza for Weber 22.5

                    Smoke Thermometer, Igrill, Thermapen, Thermapop,Maverick 2 probe

                    Good Cabernet, Merlot, Zin

                    Anti Hero, Blue moon

                    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I put it in my food.

                  #13
                  Interesting article here: https://www.hunker.com/12003699/will...rowave-ruin-it

                  Comment

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