How To Shop At The Grocery Store During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Taylor A Ritz

Life looks a lot different these days. With the CDC’s recommendations concerning social distancing and self-quarantining, a lot of us are left unsure of what activities are still safe. While we want to remain home as much as possible, there are some errands that are vital and must still be undertaken no matter what. One of these is grocery shopping.

If you’re out of avocados and other staple items, you can still visit the grocery store but should do so with caution and only when necessary. In order to do so in the safest and most hygienic way possible, adhere to the following guidelines.

Tips to Shop At the Grocery Store During the Covid-19 Outbreak

Don’t touch the produce.

This is advice we should be following even when our communities are healthy. Everyone in the supermarket has a habit of squeezing avocados and tomatoes. That means potentially hundreds of people are touching your produce before you buy it. Instead, take a plastic produce bag and turn it inside out. Place your hand in the bag, grab your produce, and flip the bag right-side-in with the fruit or vegetable inside. When you get home, wash your produce thoroughly.

Sanitize your shopping cart.

Many grocery stores offer sanitizing wipes as you enter the store. Use one on your hands and another on the handles of your cart. This can prevent the spread of germs among shoppers. Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer with you and use it after you check out. Consider using a credit or debit card to pay for your items. This avoids the need to pass cash (and possibly germs) from person to person.

Sanitize your reusable bags.

Reusable bags are a better option for the planet, but they are not as hygienic as plastic bags you use once and then throw away. Get into the habit of sanitizing your reusable bags when you arrive home from the grocery store or opt for paper bags instead. Sanitize your reusable bags by spraying them with a disinfectant or sanitizer after each use, or throw them in the washing machine.

Wash your produce.

We already mentioned this one above but it’s important enough to mention twice. Thoroughly wash your hands and produce when you arrive home from any public place, but especially the grocery store. Rinse your produce in hot water with clean hands, then wash your hands again afterward.

Wipe down prepackaged goods.

Even if your items are in packaging, consider wiping them down with a sanitizer. The items you purchase have been touched by countless others and perhaps even coughed on by countless more during shipping and stocking. 

Get groceries delivered.

If the service is available in your area, consider using a grocery delivery service. This is especially useful if you are elderly or have chronic health conditions. If you don’t have access to a grocery delivery service, you may have a friend or other contact who is willing to do your shopping for you. Isolating yourself during this time is best for your health and the health of those around you.