With the coronavirus spreading, many Americans are following the government's advice to limit trips out in public. But you may still need to visit the grocery store sometimes to stock up on food. Consumer Reports has some tips on staying safe at the supermarket.
Staying safe starts before you even enter the store. Bring some disinfectant wipes from home --your store may be out - and use them on the cart or basket before and after shopping. Bring a rubber-tipped pen to avoid touching checkout screens.
Once inside the store, try to remain at least six feet away from other people, which isn't always easy these days. So try shopping at off-peak hours like early morning or later in the evening. A Google search of your supermarket can show you when foot traffic is the highest.
Ideally, older shoppers should have a neighbor or relative shop for them. But some stores are setting aside early hours for older and vulnerable shoppers, those at a higher risk if they contract coronavirus.
And if you're getting groceries delivered to your home, order early - with increased demand, delivery to your home may take longer than usual.
Avoid direct handoff by arranging to have items delivered to your doorstep. You can usually request that option when you order.
Tip electronically rather than giving cash. This way you'll avoid touching money and hands.
And for picking up pre-packed groceries, open the car door yourself to avoid surface contamination.
The FDA says there's no current evidence to support the transmission of the virus from food packaging. But if you're concerned, it can't hurt to wipe down non-porous containers like jars or cans with disinfectant wipes.
After unpacking groceries, wash your hands and wash down surfaces that you've touched.
Finally, Consumer Reports says please don't get out of the habit of washing your hands, several times a day, vigorously for 20 seconds. A good tip? Pretend there's something sticky on them that you're trying to rub off.
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Consumer Reports: Coronavirus safety advice if you must visit the grocery store