For many people, trips to the grocery store are the only time when that they are in contact with other people and we might catch the Coronavirus. Yet we are obliged to go shopping to feed the whole family! Fortunately, there is some tips you can apply when you do your shopping to minimize the risk of being contaminated.
1. Take an inventory of your cupboards and fridge
During confinement, you should not be going out to buy a pack of chips or a single packet of butter! You should limit as much as possible outings and contacts with other people. So before going to the store, start by making an inventory of your cupboards and fridge (and freezer). See what you have left, what you are really missing and what will soon expire. Now is not the time to waste during this difficult time!
2. Plan the menus for weeks in advance
From the food you already have, you need to imagine menus for the whole family. It's the best way to save money and avoid waste! In this period of confinement, think about breakfast, lunch, dinner, not to mention snacks for you and the kids! Also, by planning your menus you will have a better idea of what you really need at the store. Think easy recipes that everyone likes! There is no need to create complicated recipes right now.
3. Make a shopping list
From the products you already have and the menus you have prepared, you can now make a shopping list. Do not forget household products such as toilet paper, dish soap or hygiene products either. That way you won't have to go back every day! Also it saves you money on impulse purchases.
4. Do your shopping alone
It is useless and potentially dangerous to expose several members of your family to the risk of contamination! Grocery shopping is not a family outing. It is much more prudent for one family member to go shopping and the other one to watch the kids. Thus, you drastically reduce the risk of catching the virus in the supermarket. Also this will create less of a crowd in grocery stores!
5.Bring your own shopping bags
To avoid having to touch the shopping carts or baskets of the supermarket, take your own shopping bags! Also, avoid the plastic bags at the store. This will protect you from touching objects that everyone else has also handled.
6. Wash your hands before shopping
It is also important not to spread the virus to others. And the best way to do this is to wash your hands with your hydroalcoholic gel (hand-sanitizer) before you start shopping. We must also think about others!
7. Do not wear gloves or a mask
All specialists agree on one point: it is useless to wear gloves when shopping. "Gloves are a false measure because you end up putting your gloved hands on your phone and forgetting the basic rules. In addition, you risk getting infected when you take off the gloves," says Dr. Benjamin Davido, infectious disease doctor
"It is better to wash your hands when leaving home and returning from shopping," he explains.
Likewise, masks are only useful if you are sick. It is therefore better to leave masks and gloves for the people who really need them - the healthcare professionals!
You must avoid touching your face while you are shopping. Do you know how many times a person touches their face a day in average? Almost 250 times!
8. Respect the safety distance of 1 meter - 6 feet
Once you are in the grocery store, the most important rule is to respect social distancing. It is at least 6 feet between you and other customers or even store employees. This will prevent people from coughing or sneezing on you or near you! Also, touch as few products as possible, only grad the products you want!
9. Create a decontamination zone at home
When you return from the store, leave all the bags in the entrance of your house or put them in a decontamination area.
"If you come in from outside with contaminated hands and clothing, you risk spreading the virus around the house," said Dr. Marc-André Langlois, professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.
It is therefore best to store all your groceries in a corner of your house. Also leave jackets, shoes, keys that could have been contaminated during your races.
10. Change your clothes
You clothes might have been in contact with potentially contaminated surfaces, it is best to remove them and put them directly in the washing machine. No need to buy an expensive special detergent, a regular detergent will do the job of eliminating the virus. Now wash your hands again and put on clean clothes! If you want to be extra cautious you could also take a shower.
11. Disinfect all the packaged products you can
When it is time to store all your shopping without taking any risk, you should try to disinfect the products that you can. Even if in theory, the risk is low that the food may have been contaminated by people who handled it. In fact, a study, published in March in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at the survival of the coronavirus on certain surfaces. Here are the results:
- cans, door handles (stainless steel, steel): very low presence of the virus (probably non-contaminating) after 24 hours, disappearance in 48 hours.
- cardboard packaging, cardboard: very low presence after 8h, disappearance in 24h.
- plastic packaging: very low presence after 48 hours, disappearance within 72 hours.
Good news, what do you think?
Because it means that you just have to leave your food products in a corner of your home, so that they decontaminate themselves! But if you're in a hurry and can't wait or if your products need to be chilled quickly, immediately throw away the product packaging when you get home. Then disinfect the products. You can use disinfecting wipes and then store your products as usual. Wash your fruits and vegetables and put them in the fridge
12. Disinfect the surfaces you touched
We are almost finished! Wash your hands again and disinfect the surfaces that you have been in contact with, such as the door handles of the house, the handles of the cupboards, the door of the fridge or freezer. In short, everything that you may have touched during the handling of the shopping that you brought back from the store.
Source: Comment Economiser · Photo Credit: Adobe Stock