Safe grocery shopping @ super shop during Covid-19 pandemic
As grocery shopping remains most imperative things during this pandemic, many people want to know how to shop safely. We want to reassure consumers that there is currently no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This particular coronavirus causes respiratory illness and is spread from person-to-person, unlike foodborne gastrointestinal or GI viruses, such as norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food.
Although your grocery store may be temporarily out of certain products, there are no nationwide shortages of food. Food production and manufacturing are spread throughout the country. During this pandemic, consumers are getting most of their food from grocery stores, and many stores have modified their operating hours to allow for more time to restock shelves and clean. In addition, many stores are providing special hours for seniors or other high-risk individuals to shop and are offering pick-up and delivery services.
"From the beginning of Corona outbreak we have taken adequate measures for the safety of our customers as well as employees. We have ensured social distancing in our outlets and encouraged everyone to wear mask and sanitize before entering outlet. We have also successfully convinced a big portion of our customers to order online and order over phone for home delivery to reduce the crowd in the outlet. We have also ensured additional measures in our entire supply chain to avoid the risk of contamination," Sabbir Hasan Nasir, Shwapno supper shop Executive Director, said.
To help protect yourself, grocery store workers, and other shoppers, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Dr. Nazma Akter, Assistant Professor (Endocrinology & Metabolism), Department of Medicine, MARKS Medical College & Hospital, Mirpur-14, Dhaka, gives you some advice in this regard.
Don't wait until the pantry and refrigerator are empty to do your next shop. This will allow you some flexibility, which is much-needed in a crisis. If the store is crowded, you can turn away and come back another time. If stock is running low, you won't have to panic, knowing that you can try again another day soon.
Try to go at a less busy time
These days, it's hard to know when that is. Earlier in the day, especially when markets open, are a good bet and weekdays seem to be less busy than weekends at most stores.
If you don't have gloves, use hand sanitizer
Before going into the store, give your hands a good squirt with a sanitizer that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol. If you don't have your own hand sanitizer, some stores now have a station near the entrance where you can do this. For additional peace of mind, if you don't have gloves or sanitizer, you can use plastic produce bags to handle produce or other items.
Go to the store with a clear list
Now is not the time to amble through the aisles and see what looks interesting. Make a meal plan and prioritize items that will keep well and provide healthy and hearty options.
Continue to wear a face mask in public places
Wearing a face mask when going out in public is mandatory in all places where people can't maintain social distancing of six feet.
Bring your own disinfecting wipes to the store
Some stores are now offering wipes for this purpose. They'll usually be near the entrance. Don't count on the store's supply, which may have run out. And not all wipes and cleansers work equally well. Wipe down all cart handles, which are a central repository for bacteria and viruses. If you carry a reusable cotton bag, throw it into the wash as soon as you get home, and then dry it thoroughly in the sun light.
l While you're in the store, stay at least 6 feet away from other shoppers. This should be obvious.
l While you're in the store, touch as few things as possible.
Now is not the time to meander through the supermarket. Go infrequently, shop efficiently. Get home, shoes off, wash hands, disinfect, and jump in the shower.
l After you bring your groceries inside, the first thing you should do is wash your hands thoroughly. Make sure to do this before you start unpacking your groceries.
What to do with the bags of groceries?
l Many stores have stopped allowing customers to bring in their own reusable grocery bags (and in some cases, they're waiving the fee they'd normally charge for paper or plastic bags). If you are still using your own machine-washable nylon or cotton bags, go ahead and wash them after you've unpacked your groceries.
l If you're using reusable bags that can't be washed, wipe them down, inside and out, with an antiseptic wipe.
l If you're using the store's plastic or paper bags, either recycle them, throw them out or put them somewhere out of reach (perhaps a corner of your garage or a hallway or outside) and make sure no one touches them for at least 72 hours. As far as we know, corona virus can't survive on surfaces for more than 72 hours so those bags should be okay to reuse after that time period.
Still, we think the greatest risks are those that accrue with each additional person we encounter face-to-face. So stay home as much as possible, and be prepared to do that for some time to come. Don't forget to put something delicious in your grocery basket.