- In order to shop safely during the pandemic, you should minimise the number of shopping trips made, consider delivery/ pick up options, use disinfectant wipes to wipe grocery packages and wash fresh produce thoroughly before storage and disinfect everything you or your groceries have touched to eliminate the risk of cross contamination.
With the UK lockdown expected to continue, heading to the store for food and essential supplies has become one of the most nerve-wracking activities for many people. However, there are some hacks to do it in a much safer way! This is why we have prepared some steps which you could follow to better protect yourself and those around you.
Source: Marketing Week
Before we get started, it is important to note that COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person through respiratory virus droplets when someone coughs or sneezes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is why many supermarkets have imposed safety precautions such as limiting the amount of people in store at one time, marking the distance you should keep with the person in front of you etc.
These precautions have also been useful to slow down panic buying and help supermarket workers to have the time to replenish most of the products on shelf. But there are still steps which you could take to reduce the risk of catching and spreading the virus. Here’s a guide to shopping safely during the pandemic:
Before you go to the store
Consider if you really need to go shopping
It is important to reduce the risk of exposure as much as possible, hence you should limit the number of shopping trips to maybe once per week or even consider online delivery and pickup options. Remember that you can also use GreenJinn offers when you buy from any supermarket’s websites, from Amazon or directly from your favourite brand’s websites, so no need to rush in-store!
Also, food delivery services that bring your favourite restaurant dishes to your door have also been partnering up with some supermarkets and local corner stores, which means you can get groceries delivered to your home in less than an hour. Their supply is sometimes limited, but you might be able to find some gems amongst the overwhelming booze options.
Finally, a few wholesalers that used to supply restaurants have also repurposed to sell fresh veggie, fruit and meat boxes to consumers, so make sure to check them out too!
Write and organise your shopping lists
In order to reduce the amount of time spent in store, you will want to make a shopping list before going out and only buy what you need. Don’t forget to check the GreenJinn app to see if your favourite products are on offer!
It is understandable that you would want to stock up in case of emergencies, however, please also be considerate of others and not over-buy as in the past weeks it has caused temporary shortage of products, including artisanally hand-crafted toilet paper. Gulp!
Go by yourself
The safest way to shop is by yourself as it helps to reduce the number of people going to stores and also limiting your family’s exposure.
At the store
Wear a mask and gloves
It is recommended that people should wear face covering, such as masks, and gloves when they go out. This is to prevent the spread of disease from people who are infected but have hidden symptoms. Gloves should be worn when shopping and dispose of them afterwards to prevent cross contamination. Make sure to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands as you run the risk of infecting yourself.
Wipe everything you touch with disinfecting wipes and sanitise your hands often
Use hand sanitisers before entering the store and after leaving. Since not all supermarkets provide disinfecting wipes, hence you should bring your own wipes to use on trolleys, baskets, card readers etc.
Avoid touching your phone
A recent study by the National Institute of Health suggests that the novel Coronavirus can live on glass surfaces for up to four days and surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for up to 3 days. We all know the temptation to check GreenJinn offers in-store is always high, but please during this period avoid touching your phone when going out and make sure to sanitise it after you go home.
Remember to maintain a two meter distance from other people.
When you get home
Wipe packages and wash fresh produce thoroughly
Your groceries and their packaging are very likely to have been touched by many other people at the supermarket. Hence it is advisable to wipe down the boxes and bags with sanitising wipes before storing. You can wash fruits and vegetables with water and liquid soap specially made for washing fresh produce. Also don’t forget to wash your hands after too!
Store your food correctly for optimal freshness and a longer shelf life
There are lots of foods that you can put straight in the freezer instead of the fridge, this includes meat and poultry, ready-made meals, bread and many more. Make sure to check their packaging for the optimal storage method.
Wipe and disinfect everything you or your groceries have touched
Since the virus is likely to survive on artificial fibre, objects and surfaces, it is recommended to disinfect everything you or your groceries have touched, from front door handles to tabletop where you have placed your groceries to your wallet and your clothes, to avoid cross contamination.
Regardless of what safety precautions you decided to take, the virus can only be transmitted through surfaces if you touch one that has been infected and then touch your face. Which is why you should wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water in order to eliminate all traces of the virus on your hands.
- Study by National Institute of Health: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/study-suggests-new-coronavirus-may-remain-surfaces-days
- The CDC, 2020: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html