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Tips for safe grocery shopping during the pandemia

We determined that -while the safest approach- delivery or pickup options may not be the answer to your needs. You may have to go to the grocery store.

Go well prepared. That means you need to wear gloves and a mask and go with a clear list so you know exactly what you are looking for so you can minimize your time at the store. You also need to bring disinfecting wipes so you can wipe down the cart handles. You should also wipe down the touch screen and buttons if you opt for self-checkout.

According to experts, the biggest risk when it comes to grocery shopping is being in the store itself with other people because you don't know if they're infected or not. You may want to look for a store that limits the number of shoppers allowed in at once.

So, this shouldn’t be a leisure trip, you are going in and out, moving fast, making your stay at the store as short as possible. Therefore, never bring your kids or double up with your spouse; just one adult member of the household at a time. Maintain social distance while you are in the store.

While at the store be sure not to touch your eyes, nose or your face until you can wash your hands again.

I recommend that you keep hand sanitizer in your car so you can wipe your gloves after you are done with the shopping.

When you get home, the advice is to divide your kitchen countertop into a dirty area and a clean area. Place all your groceries on the dirty area. As you wipe down all the packaged groceries -you can use Clorox wipes- you move them into the clean area. Rinse all fresh fruit and vegetables with plain water. Not everyone feels this is necessary as most experts maintain that the risk of getting infected with any virus particles that might be on your packages is very small, but it will probably make you feel better. We know that very little virus is detectable on most surfaces after 24 hours and probably none after three days. A recent New England Journal of Medicine article found that the virus was detectable on plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours after exposure and on cardboard for up to 24 hours. An alternative is to leave your groceries in your car or in the garage for 24 to 72 hours. Just note that putting your food in the freezer or refrigerator could actually preserve the virus, but heating your food to a temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit will kill it.

Once you finished, trash the gloves, wash your hands and wipe down your countertops. If you bring your own reusable cotton bags, throw them into the washing machine after unpacking. Some people change clothes after they get home after taking care of the groceries as an extra precaution. You should keep one pair of shoes for just going out and wipe their sole once you get home.

Does is sound too much? It probably is, but who can complain about going the extra mile to preserve the health of your family!

Tell us how you do it.

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