2020-04-08 09:22:22 BdST
Safely shop for groceries amid coronavirus pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic that has now infected 1 million people across the world calls for extreme measures like social distancing to help contain the spread.
This brings the question of what level of disinfection do groceries require before they can be used.
Some people say that disinfecting groceries and their containers is important, however, experts say that such measures are not required.
Here is a list of precautions that you should take when stepping out to buy groceries:
Limit your trips
Even though stepping out to buy groceries is an essential routine you will have to follow, try and reduce the number of times you go out.
Stock up on a few essentials so that you do not have to go to the store every day. Also, plan your visit to the store in the off-peak hours. Remember to keep a safe distance from other shoppers.
Clean your hands afterwards
Touch only what you have to, at the grocery store. Remember to wash your hands immediately after returning home.
It is also advisable not to touch your phone or disinfect them properly before beginning to use them. Some people wear gloves when they step out.
Even though the gloves do provide another layer between the outer world and the hand, you can still catch the infection if you touch your face with the gloves on.
You needn’t sanitize food packaging
The virus can live on material for a few hours. However, the amount of virus on the packaging is actually very less.
Instead of disinfecting food packaging, shoppers should wash their hands thoroughly after touching any surface or any item that might have been handled by others.
There is no evidence of transmission through food packaging. Produce should only be washed with water without the use of any cleaning agent like dish soap.
Do not go to the store, if you are experiencing symptoms
It is advisable not to step out into any public place, even the store if you have been in contact or have been caring for someone with the infection.
The spread of the disease can also take place during the asymptomatic stages when the patient is not showing any symptoms. It is obviously most contagious when symptoms start showing.
You should completely isolate yourself if you are experiencing symptoms.
If you are above 60, get groceries delivered
The disease affects the elderly and people with underlying chronic conditions more severely than it does others.
This requires more precautions to be taken by these people. It is advisable that you do not step out and get your groceries delivered.
Ask the person to leave the groceries at the doorstep and take adequate precautions of social distancing even when taking the groceries from them.
Clean all the surfaces and wash your hands thoroughly after storing the groceries.
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