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Combating coronavirus: 11 tips to avoid germs at the grocery store

Web Report
Filed on April 10, 2020

((Photo: Juidin Bernarrd/KT))

The pandemic has put groceries and other supermarket essentials under scrutiny of anxious buyers.

During the coronavirus pandemic, hand washing has become statutory part of maintaining hygiene than ever before. Not only this, the pandemic has also put groceries and other supermarket essentials under scrutiny of anxious buyers. Here are 11 tips to stay safe while shopping at grocery store or supermarkets, according to MSN.

Early morning shopping

Try to shop as soon as the store or supermarket opens as during this time not only will there be fewer buyers, but the place will probably be cleanest then. This is because the staff often sanitises the premises at night.

Carry sanitiser, disinfectant wipes

Carry hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes, or disposable gloves along. Use the wipes to clean the shopping carts in case the store hasn't put any for buyers. This lowers the risk of coming in contact with contaminated carts, especially since studies have found that Covid-19 can live for two or three days on plastic surfaces.

Even door handles in the frozen food section, self-checkout screens, and credit card keypads are all risky zones. So, be sure to either wipe them down before touching, use hand sanitizer after touching, or just wear disposable gloves.

Don't touch your face

Often without realising it is possible to touch your face whilst at the store. So if you accidentally have touched a contaminated surface and then just scratch your face due to that unexpected itching, you might land in trouble.

Don't touch your phone

Phone screens can be a breeding ground for many germs and viruses. So instead of keeping a grocery list on your smartphone, write it on a piece of scrap paper that can be tossed into the trash can after shopping.

Don't rush into shopping

As it is advisable to be at least 6 feet away from other shoppers, it can also lengthen your shopping time. But don't mind this, and move more slowly to avoid crowding.

Inspect items for holes in the packaging

Make sure there aren't any rips or tears in cereal boxes, potato chip bags, and produce or any other packaging. For fresh fruits, make sure there are no holes or breaks in the skin that germs could easily get into.

Bypass the free samples

Surprise snacks at supermarkets are one of the perks of grocery shopping. Livestrong suggests that exposed food is an easy target for germs hence it is advisable to skip the free samples and do eat any fruits directly from the store.

Don't pay with cash

If possible, stick to cards or other automatic methods of payment. You can also wipe down debit and credit cards after use.

Leave grocery bags on your doorstep

Amid the pandemic, stores are being extra cautious about cleanliness, but it's still possible shopping bags could pick up germs at the billing counters. So, leave them outside and only bring your items into the house.

Wash reusable bags between trips

If you are using reusable shopping bags, Food Network recommends tossing them in the washing machine or wiping them down with soap and water between shopping trips.

Wash produce and wipe down other items

Thoroughly rinse produce before eating. Dr. Lisa Larkin, a Cincinnati-based internal medicine physician and founder of Ms.Medicine, told Reader's Digest that you can also wipe down jars, cans, and bottles with a disinfectant wipe before putting them in your pantry for good measure.


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