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How to be Safe while Grocery Shopping


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With the general recommendation being to people wear cloth, or face coverings in public to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, you may wonder whether there’s more you can do to stay safe while shopping for food. 


Many of you may be avoiding visiting grocery stores entirely, by opting for delivery services.


Whether you buy your essentials online or in stores, there are some measures that you can take so that you don’t get exposed to coronavirus


Wash nonporous containers. While there's no current evidence that suggests virus transmission from food packaging, if you're concerned, you can wipe down non-porous containers like glass or cans using disinfectant. 


If that seems impractical, wash your hands thoroughly after putting away all packaging, including paper boxes and bags. Ultimately, it all comes down to hand hygiene.


It’s also a good idea to wash your hands after opening the containers and using their contents.


But if you open a rice packet a few days after you get it, there is little likelihood of the virus still being alive on the box and causing an infection.


The results of one study suggests that the coronavirus responsible for the current pandemic does not survive on cardboard for longer than a day. 


Wash your hands, counter, and other surfaces you’ve touched. Wash everything after you've put away your groceries. Using a disinfectant is only necessary when you’re living with someone else. 


Wash fruit and vegetables under running water—and give a good scrub to those with hard skins—this can also help in removing pesticides.


Rest assured though that the risk of getting the virus from your food is considered low. 


During deliveries:


Avoid a direct hand-off. Make arrangements for having the items delivered to your doorstep or a place nearby instead from where you can pick it up instead. 


Pay electronically. The main benefit of ordering deliveries online or via an app is you don’t need to do a direct transaction of money with the delivery person. 


Order earlier than you usually do. This is not really a matter of safety but you may find that in the midst of higher demand there’s a longer waiting period. 


If You're Buying Groceries in a Store


One of the most important measures to prevent the spread of the virus is to stay 6 feet away from other people. This is generally the distance within which people pick up coronavirus droplets through the air from a cough or sneeze. Social distancing is a very important practice in any situation outside the home.


Go shopping at a time that’s less busy. Choose less busier times, if possible, like early in the morning


Wear a face covering. When going out, it is best to cover your faces using a face covering. You can use any well-secured paper or cloth (like a bandana or scarf) that covers your mouth and nose as a face covering.


Take hand sanitizer with you. Use it before entering your home again.


Use a credit or debit card. This will prevent you from handling bills or receiving change. Also, use your own pen for signing any receipts. If possible, use a virtual payment system so that you don't have to take out your wallet at all.