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COVID-19 – tips for safe grocery shopping

We've teamed up with qualified epidemiologist and Public Health specialist Elizabeth Lucy to bring you the latest updates and tops regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. This week? Tips on safe shopping.

By Elizabeth Lucy

Shopping for groceries has become more of a challenge than normal, a quick nip out for bread needs much more thought and planning than it ever did before. But what do we need to be aware of and are there steps we can take to protect ourselves? 

If you physically need to go into a supermarket then here are some tips to help with this:

– The biggest risk when shopping is being inside the store itself with other people who may be infected. So, try to time your trip to avoid crowds and shop quickly, make sure you practice social distancing inside the supermarket.

– Follow any in-store guidance and definitely stay at least 6 feet away from other people. 

– Focus on getting in and out as fast as possible and only touch items you plan to purchase to minimize your risk.

– Go alone if possible, because bringing everyone to the supermarket will just add to crowding in the aisles and could potentially raise the exposure risk of everyone in your house too. 

If you manage to get your shopping delivered then remember that whilst the risk is lower, it is not non-existent. 

Virus particles can live on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces for 2/3 days so it is always safer to proceed with a bit of caution. I made a video on this below if you want to watch how I handle my groceries, but here are some high-level tips:

– As a rule, anything non-perishable or anything I don’t immediately need, I leave in a space in the house that doesn’t get frequented often for 2/3 days. So things like washing detergent or toiletries you could leave in a garage or under the stairs for a few days.

– Anything with an outer package you could remove, take it off. For example, pizza boxes or taking the cereal bars out of their box.

– Anything you need straight away you could wipe down (an anti-bac wipe might not kill the virus but the hard wiping action will remove it. Hard wipe and straight in the bin!) or, wash with soap and water. 

I hope this helps, stay safe and well. 

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