It’s a very uncertain time— with health and safety always top of mind. During the pandemic, one thing is certain, we must continue to stock our homes with food, so how do you avoid being exposed to COVID-19 while going to the store?
You can keep your cupboards stocked and germ-free by following these tips.
Get it Delivered
The best way to prevent coming in contact with the COVID-19 virus is to avoid close contact with other people. Look into setting up home delivery for your basic food and household essentials.
Many large grocery suppliers will allow you to set up an online account for grocery delivery. If you need help with setting up an online account, you can ask a friend or family member to assist you. Smaller, locally run stores may also allow you to place an order over the phone.
There are also delivery apps like Instacart to help place orders as well.
If You Have to Go Out
Staying home will drastically limit your exposure to the virus. Plan to only go to the grocery store if there is no other option and time your visit trip accordingly. Many stores are opening early specifically for people 60+ to limit crowds and exposure to this more vulnerable group. Call your local store and plan accordingly.
While you are at the store, follow these tips:
- Keep a safe distance from people (at least 6 feet away) especially when standing in line.
- Wearing a cloth covering over your mouth and nose is now mandatory so don’t forget one and bring nitrile gloves as well– if you have them.
- Use a disinfecting wipe on all parts of the shopping cart that you are going to touch.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Try and use a credit card for payment (avoid cash) and carry hand sanitizer and use it right after paying and when you leave the store.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home.
When You Get Home
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC both agree that there have been no reports of catching COVID-19 from food containers or packaging. Your best defense is hand washing and cleaning the places you put your food.
Set up a designated area in your kitchen for where you will put the food you bring into your house. Keep this area clutter free.
- Throw out any extra packaging and bags.
- Wipe down sealed containers such as tins and plastics with a disinfecting wipe before you put it in the cupboard.
Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water after:
- Touching food packages
- Taking food out of the package
- Before you start making your food
- Before you eat
The last step is to clean your countertop with hot, soapy water after putting away your food items.
Staying safe and healthy involves more attention during the pandemic, but your careful attention can make a difference to protecting your health and those you love.
Keep connected through the Inter Valley Health Plan blog for regular updates and tips.