Grocery Shopping During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Woman grocery shopping during pandemic wearing mask

Who would have thought the simple task of grocery shopping could cause anxiety for people? While we work hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) by social distancing, staying home, and washing our hands frequently, we still need to buy food and supplies. Renown Health’s Infection Prevention team, Food and Nutrition Services, and Sterile Processing offer safe grocery shopping tips and information on sanitizing items once you are home.

Should I Wear a Mask While Grocery Shopping?

Yes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone wears a cloth face-covering in public. Masks that loop around your ears are more effective than bandanas and neck gaiters and the CDC recommends surgical masks or N-95 masks be reserved for healthcare workers. It is also important to maintain a 6-foot physical distance between each other.

Here are some best practices for wearing a mask in public:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water before putting on your mask.
  2. Cover your nose and chin with the mask.
  3. Avoid touching your face while wearing a mask.
  4. When removing your mask be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  5. Wash your hands with soap and water before taking off your mask.

RELATED: The Best Way to Clean a Cloth Mask

Should I Wear Gloves While Grocery Shopping?

No, gloves provide the same protection as your skin when worn for an extended time. If you touch the grocery cart with gloves but don’t remove the gloves before touching your phone, then you have spread germs to your phone.
Rather than wearing gloves, it’s best to keep up frequent hand washing with soap and water, and using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

RELATED: Expert Hand-Washing Advice

When You Get Home

After you return home and safely remove your face mask with clean hands, please follow these steps for sanitizing your groceries. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is currently no evidence of food being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.

  1. Wash fruits and vegetables with water before storing them.
  2. Remove packaged food from its packaging when possible. For example, pour cereal or chips into a clean reusable container.
  3. Wipe down canned or jarred goods.
  4. Before, during, and after handling food, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.