11 Tips for Avoiding Germs at the Grocery Store

April 9, 2020

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As shelter-in-place orders keep us all restricted to our homes for who knows how long, we still have to eat. So while trips to the grocery store are essential, they still need to be done safely. Mental Floss put together this reminder of how to shop safely during the pandemic, that will keep you, your family and your community safe during this scary time. Here are their 11 tips for avoiding germs at the grocery store:

  1. Go early in the morning. The stores will be less crowded, and probably cleanest at the time as the store has had time to sanitize overnight. There may be a special time for Seniors to shop as well, so call ahead.
  2. Bring sanitizer, wipes or gloves. Use this to thoroughly wipe down your cart, handles on refrigerated doors and anything else you might have to touch.
  3. Don't touch your face. You're probably already practicing this new mantra, but don't get complacent.
  4. Don't touch your phone either. For now, better to go old school and use pencil and paper for your grocery list.
  5. Give yourself more time than you usually need. 6-foot social distancing is going to require more time, so it's important to not be in a rush.
  6. Inspect items for holes in the packaging (or the food itself). Check boxes and packages for holes, as well as the skins of fruits and vegetables.
  7. Bypass the free samples. Most stores are suspending this usual perk, but in case yours isn't, just don't do it. 
  8. Don't pay with cash. Cash can carry germs, so debit and credit is cleaner ... just use a wipe on your card after you used it. 
  9. Leave your grocery bags on the doorstep when you get home. Leave the bags outside and only bring the items they carried into the house.
  10. Wash reusable bags between trips. If you gone to reusable bags, be sure to wash between trips. 
  11. Wash produce and wipe down other items. Thoroughly rinse your produce before eating it, and also wipe down jars, cans and bottles before you put them away.