If you’re the designated person to run essential errands, then you must be aware that every time you go out, you not only put yourself at risk of contracting COVID-19 but everyone at home. So even if you’re just stepping out to go grocery shopping, you need to take some precautions.
For those who don’t have the option of ordering groceries online, here are some tips to help you stay safe during your grocery run.
Before you step out of the house…
- Follow COVID-19 safety recommendations
Wear a face mask to lessen your chances of being infected or spreading the virus. Do not leave your house if you are not feeling well or have any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Make a grocery list
Spending a few minutes to make a grocery list and grouping items by category will help cut the time it takes to look for the things you need. The less time you spend in the store, the better.
- Bring your reusable bags
If you have reusable bags (and you should!), make sure to clean them before and after each grocery run. It would be ideal to have separate bags for produce, meats, and dry goods.
Inside the grocery…
- Wipe down your cart or basket handles
Some supermarkets diligently disinfect their shopping carts and baskets. But if you want to be extra careful, bring your disinfectant to clean the cart or basket handle before you get started.
- Practice social distancing
Stay at least 6 feet (or the length of two shopping carts) away from other people at all times. Whether you’re in line to enter the store, navigating the grocery aisles, or queuing up for the cashier, always be mindful of your distance to others.
- Look before you touch
The coronavirus is known to survive on surfaces so it’s best we limit touching items in the grocery store. Instead of picking things up and putting them back on the shelf, simply scan the shelves and grab only what you need.
When you get home…
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA), there is no evidence of food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. Likewise, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) announced that there is no observed trend of people acquiring the virus from groceries.
However, if you’re worried that your tomatoes and tissue rolls might have been previously handled or coughed on by someone with COVID-19, then you can take the following precautions:
- Unload items on a surface that you can disinfect later
- Wipe or disinfect before storing items
- Wash your hands after disinfecting the items and surface
These days, preparing to run errands can be like gearing up for battle. Hopefully, these tips can help you feel a little more confident and in control about your safety the next time you do your grocery shopping.