These days the grocery store is one of the only public places you are visiting while social distancing and other COVID-19 orders are in place. While at the grocery store, it is important now more than ever to be extra cautious and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Check out these tips before your next trip to pick up food and household essentials.
Your trip to the store
Don’t go if you’re sick
If you’re sick, stay home! If you don’t have groceries delivered, asked a friend or family member pick up items for you. Whatever the method, be sure to have your items left at the door instead of being handed to you.
Plan before you go
Making a list of items you need can help you stay organized and avoid visiting parts of the store you don’t need to. This will also allow you to spend less time inside the grocery store and around others. Have one person from your household go to the store and avoid going in large groups. Also, leave the kids at home.
Before heading out to the store, be sure to wash your hands. This will help prevent the overall spread of COVID-19 germs.
If not cleaned frequently, basket and cart handles can spread germs very easily. Use wipes provided by the store or bring your own to sanitize all handles before touching them.
Keep your distance
Go to the store during hours when there are less people around. While inside the store, continue to practice social distancing. Stay at least six feet away from others.
Shop with your eyes, not your hands
Limiting the number of items you touch at the store can also help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For example, use your eyes to decide which pieces of produce are ripe instead of picking them up. Also, pick packaged items at the front of the shelf instead of reaching for ones all the way at the back.
Staying safe using delivery services
Avoid germs inside the store altogether by using grocery pickup services. Be sure to still avoid direct contact with others by having the grocery store employee place your bags in your car rather than handing them to you.
Home delivery is another great option, especially if you are under the weather or trying to be extra cautious during this time. You’ll still want to avoid direct contact in this situation. Before your groceries arrive, leave a note requesting your items be left at your door.
Don’t want to tip with cash in person? Use the online tipping option instead. Many delivery websites have this option. The tip is added to your order total before you pay.
Unpacking your groceries
Wash your hands
Immediately after coming home from the store and after unpacking your groceries, wash your hands. Be sure to use soap and water and wash for at least 20 seconds. This will kill germs you have been exposed to. Additionally, it is also a good idea to have hand sanitizer in your car to use directly after you finish your grocery run.
Clean produce items
COVID-19 is not likely to be transmitted through food itself, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With that being said, it is always a good idea to clean produce items before eating them.
Use water to wash items thoroughly, especially if they won’t be cooked before eating. If you want to be extra cautious, you can apply a little soap and scrub produce will a small brush. Be careful not to scrub so hard that you damage the produce.
Wipe down surfaces
Be sure to clean food containers, boxes and packages with a disinfecting wipe. Once the groceries have been put away, wipe down any counters you set these items on. Cleaning these surfaces can help prevent the spread of germs from the store throughout your house.
Wash reusable bags
Shopping with reusable grocery bags? If so, it is important to clean them after each grocery visit. Canvas bags can be cleaned in a washing machine. Insulated bags can be wiped down with disinfecting wipes. Nylon and recycled plastic bags can be washed with soap and water.
Stay updated on what Bon Secours is doing related to COVID-19.