8 Tips on How to Safely Go Grocery Shopping in the Age of the Coronavirus

For Most People, Shopping is Unavoidable

A cashier at a Stop & Shop in New York City

By Paul Riegler on 1 May 2020
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As the various lockdowns across the globe reach the two-month mark, one habit that hasn’t changed is the need to go grocery shopping.  Almost everyone except perhaps the most astute online shoppers must at some point venture into a food market in order to subsist.

Delivery services such as Amazon Prime Now, Fresh Direct, and Peapod are far safer and use touchless delivery methods, eliminating the need for any human contact, but you may not be able to get a delivery slot as quickly as you need it. Indeed some services such as Fresh Direct allow customers to reserve a regular weekly time slot which doesn’t vary week to week but a new customer may find it hard to book a delivery time.

There are, however, some things you needn’t worry about. There is no evidence that the virus is transmitted through clothing so there’s no reason to change clothes upon returning from your shopping expedition unless someone sneezed or coughed on you, in which case putting the clothing in the washing machine on a warm setting and drying thoroughly should suffice.  Experts also believe that it’s unnecessary to wipe down all of your purchases with disinfecting wipes and it’s important not to use anything but water on fresh produce. It’s more important to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.

Here are eight tips that will help minimize the risk you face when venturing into a Stop & Shop, Wegman’s, Whole Foods, or the corner market.

1.)       Minimize the number of visits to any store.  The more often you go, the more often you must interact with a number of people, from other shoppers to cashiers.

2.)       Go at off hours.  If a store appears crowded, leave and come back at another time. Many stores provide seniors with special shopping hours.

3.)       Wear a face covering of some sort. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for wearing a face mask is intended to limit the spread of the virus.

4.)       Wear disposable gloves or wipe down the grocery cart and freezer door handles.  Remember to remove and dispose of the gloves before getting into your car.

5.)       Use self-checkout lines.  This will reduce your interaction with other people.

6.)       Use a touchless payment method such as Apple Pay and, if a PIN is required, wipe off the touchpad or use it while wearing gloves.

7.)       Don’t bring your own shopping bags into the store.  You are merely shuffling any germs back and forth to and from your home.

8.)       Don’t use your smartphone whilst in the store.  If you do, clean it with a disinfectant wipe.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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