One of the few things that are an absolute necessity for us all is grocery shopping, even during the time of the Coronavirus pandemic. We have assembled some tips for you to use to ensure the groceries you buy are safe and ready to use when you need them! Please keep in mind that you do not need to fear the food that you buy! Just make sure what you purchase is clean and sanitized before storing or consuming.
It Starts in the Store
Practicing good hygiene habits while you shop is the first step. If you are going to the store to purchase your groceries physically, make sure your shopping cart handles are all properly sterilized. Many hard-working grocery store employees are diligently cleaning as many surfaces as possible throughout the day; however, for peace of mind, try sanitizing your cart before use. Be mindful of the surfaces and items you touch, especially when it comes to produce.
Or It Starts With Delivery or Pickup Services
The best way to avoid the grocery store is to avoid the store altogether. While this isn’t an option for everyone, this is a way to practice social distancing easily. If you have groceries delivered to your home, try to instruct the delivery person to leave them at your door for contactless delivery. If picking up at a store, notify the delivery person to leave them in your trunk or another area in your vehicle. This reduces the number of people in the store, reducing everyone’s chances of transferring the virus.
Even plastic shopping bags can be a surface where the virus can live on for a few days. When it comes to plastic or paper bags, either recycle or throw them away. If you use reusable cloth or other types of material bags, leave them somewhere isolated for a day or so or wash them. Doing this will give the virus time to dissipate harmlessly. And when you bring groceries home, do not place the bags on your kitchen counter. If the virus is present on your bags somehow, it can easily get transferred to your countertops.
How to Handle Non-Perishable Goods
There are different ways to handle these goods. You can get a sanitizing liquid or spray and clean items such as bagged rice or canned items and wiping them down. You can also store items such as chips in Tupperware or glass storage containers you own. Items that are bagged inside a box such as cereal you can remove from the box and store that way. Clean as much as you can or take loose items out of handled boxes to ensure your safety during this time.
How to Handle Perishable Goods
For groceries such as fresh vegetables, be sure to wash them very thoroughly. It is likely many people had touched the produce you bought before you purchased it. For lettuce and similar produce, immerse in water, swish, then let it sit for a minute or so to allow any dirt to fall to the bottom. Then rinse under cold water thoroughly. For root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, they are already quite dirty from the ground, so scrub good with a scrub pad to remove the dirt and rinse thoroughly. For soft fruits, rinse generously under a steady water stream. For produce like apples or tomatoes, you can wash with a small amount of soap to be certain, be sure to rinse very thoroughly afterward to remove the residue.
Practice Good Hygiene Habits
We will get through this current pandemic soon enough! By practicing good hygiene now and in the future, we can prevent future outbreaks of other viruses from occurring. Be sure to follow all Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for hygiene, stay at least six feet apart, and we will all get through this just fine!
Zippy Shell hopes you and your family stay safe during the Coronavirus pandemic. We also want to thank all the hard-working grocery store employees who are helping keep our homes stocked with what we need while sanitizing as much of their stores as possible! And if you are social distancing at home and looking to get some home projects done and need storage, give Zippy Shell a call!