COVID-19: Tips & Tricks for Safer Grocery Shopping


COVID-19 is transmitted most readily through direct exposure to respiratory droplets, which are produced when one speaks, coughs, or sneezes.

In the grocery store, as everywhere, make a concerted effort to keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.

COVID-19 is also transmitted, though we believe to a somewhat lesser extent, through contact with contaminated surfaces. By this route, we touch a contaminated surface and subsequently touch our face with that contaminated hand, allowing the viral particles the means to enter our body through our mouths, nose, or eyes. The virus that causes COVID-19 is able to remain viable on surfaces for hours to days.

When at the grocery store, know that, if you can touch it, someone with COVID-19 could have touched it too; anything can be contaminated with viral particles. Assume your hands are contaminated from the moment you enter the store until the moment you exit and clean your hands.

▪ If disinfectant wipes are provided at the store entrance, use them. Apply some pressure and be thorough. It’s possible that someone before you has recently touched that apple, but it’s all-but-certain that your shopping cart handle has been held recently.

▪ Be prepared. Write an old-fashioned grocery list on a piece of paper which you can simply throw away when you’re finished (as opposed to keeping a list on your mobile device, which you’ll then have to disinfect when you’re finished). If possible, choose to shop on a weekday at the time of store opening; you’ll be one of the first to roam a freshly disinfected store, and you’re likely to be accompanied by far fewer people. Organization will help you to minimize your time in store and mitigate your overall exposure risk.

▪ When you’ve finished shopping at the grocery shopping, clean your hands as soon as you are able. Again, after you’ve returned home and put your groceries away, wash your hands with soap and water.