Shopping During the COVID-19 Pandemic

How to shop for groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic

(RxWiki News) With the pandemic in full swing, staying safe and healthy during grocery shopping is likely a big concern. Read on for some essential tips.

Before you plan to shop in a store, however, always check for curbside or delivery services.

Many retailers offer services that allow you to order your groceries online for pickup or delivery. After you select the items for purchase, you will need to select a day and time for pickup or delivery.

Because many people are now taking advantage of this offering, the number of available slots may be limited. If things are really busy in your area, you may need to plan ahead and give yourself a few days to get an open slot.

If the above recommendation is not an option for whatever reason, follow the listed recommendations to keep yourself and store employees safe while shopping in the store.

  1. Try to shop early, when stores aren't as crowded. Many stores have implemented special hours for elderly and other at-risk populations. Furthermore, go to the store alone, if possible.
  2. Wear a face covering or mask while shopping.
  3. Wipe the shopping cart down with antibacterial wipes. If you are using your own reusable shopping bags, wash them before each use.
  4. Make a shopping list. If possible, plan for one to two weeks' worth of groceries. Although your store may be out of certain items for the time being, there are no nationwide shortages of food at this time, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  5. Try to touch as few food packages and items as possible when shopping, selecting the first one you touch when possible. Making a shopping list will not only help to expedite the time you are in the store, but it will help lower the number of products you end up touching. Making a shopping list will also keep you from aimlessly walking from aisle to aisle.
  6. While in the store, keep your distance from other shoppers. Many stores have placed stickers on the floor to represent the recommended six feet of distance.
  7. Try not to take your phone out of your purse or pocket while in the store. If you need your phone, simply wipe your phone down with an antibacterial wipe after use.
  8. When paying, consider using electronic payment with your smartphone when possible so you don't touch the payment machine. If this is not an option, use an antibacterial wipe to wipe down your credit card and hands.
  9. After leaving the store, wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Wash your hands again after handling groceries.
  10. If you wish to wipe down your groceries, you can do so as an extra precaution. Let them air dry after wiping them down.

If you're concerned about virus transmission from food packaging, there's some good news. The FDA said there is no data to show the virus can be transmitted through food packaging.

If you have any questions, contact your health care provider.