How to Safely Grocery Shop in the Time of Coronavirus

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While we all continue to practice social distancing in our attempt to flatten the curve of infections, grocery shopping is one of those precarious necessary activities we must continue to do. Going out to buy groceries and essentials is fine, but is it safe to do so? There is no need to be afraid of the idea of getting your grocery shopping done, but to help ease your mind, here are some helpful tips to ensure you’re staying safe while doing so. 

Photo by Nathália Rosa on Unsplash

Make a plan 

The best thing you can do is to limit the number of times you’re going out in public for your grocery shopping. Try planning ahead for all of your grocery shopping needs, so waiting until the pantry is empty should be avoided. Be mindful of the food stores you have at home, that way you can anticipate any grocery runs throughout the weeks. 

Bring a list 

Leisurely shopping trips should be dropped for quick and concise trips. Sit down before heading out and write out the list of items you need, that way you can enter the store with a clear idea of what you need. 

Go during a time that’s less busy 

Try searching the grocery store you’re going to on Google. Most search results will return a time where foot traffic is lightest. That will be the best time to get your grocery shopping done. 

Bring hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes 

Grocery shopping is one of the few times you should be out in public, so it’s extremely important you’re mindful of the things you touch. Beforehand, wipe down all cart handles you use. If you are used to constantly touching your face, try keeping both hands on the grocery cart unless you’re grabbing items. Avoid touching unnecessary items. If you use the self-checkout, either wipe down the touch screen or use some hand sanitizer immediately after to avoid any lingering germs. 

Use contactless pay 

Contactless payment options like Apple Pay or Google Pay can be a good option as it reduces the amount of contact you have with commonly touched surfaces. If this is not an option, a debit or credit card will do. If possible, avoid using cash.

Wipe down containers 

The FDA has said that there is no evidence that transmission of the virus can occur from food packaging, but there is no harm in being cautious. If you’re concerned, wipe down non-porous containers like glass or cans with disinfectant wipes. 

Wash produce 

Any fruits or vegetables you buy should be washed under running water and scrubbed for products that have hard skins. Again, the risk for infection from produce remains low, but in the effort to practice good hygiene, this should be a no-brainer. 

Wash reusable bags before using again 

Many people use reusable bags made of nylon or cotton to carry their groceries. Using these are fine, but before using them again, it’s a good idea to toss them in the washing machine. This will ensure any bacteria or viral particles will be washed away. 

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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