The California Grocers Association (CGA) released a new statement along with a list of Top 10 Tips for Safe Shopping, on the heels of the state’s stay in place orders being extended for at least another 30 days.
Grocery store employees are working diligently not only to keep store shelves stocked, but also to increase the frequency of cleaning to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. “Convenient and safe access to food and essential products at local grocery stores is more critical than ever during these uncertain times,” said Ron Fong, President and CEO of the CGA. “Shoppers are understandably looking for credible and practical information about how to keep themselves, fellow shoppers and grocery workers safe and healthy. Today we are releasing a list of Top 10 Tips for Safe Shopping to help guide best practices for consumers.
Fong continued, “The California Grocers Association also continues to take steps to reassure consumers that grocery stores will remain open and that food and essential supplies remain plentiful through our ‘Buy Smart. Don’t Overfill Your Cart.’ There is #Enough4All campaign. Getting shopping patterns back to normal and reducing stress on both shoppers and the distribution system can go a long way toward creating normalcy in our grocery stores.”
Here are tips to help ensure a safe shopping experience for everyone:
- Only visit the grocery store when it’s essential, and then buy only what you need for one week, or a little more.
- Wash or disinfect your re-usable grocery bags after each use. For your safety, some grocers ask that you bag your groceries if using reusable bags, while others have decided to temporarily not allow reusable bags to be brought into their stores.
- Don’t bring extra people on your visit to the store if at all possible.
- Practice social distancing within the store. The CDC guideline is 6-feet – the safe distance to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. An average grocery cart is 3-feet long, so keep a distance of two grocery carts between you and others.
- Inspect produce with your eyes, not your hands. To avoid unnecessary handling of fruits and vegetables use a produce bag to make your selection.
- Avoid unnecessary handling of all items in store. Try not to pick up cans or boxes or other products unless you plan to buy. Let your eyes guide your choice.
- Don’t crowd the checkstand.
- Keep your distance from the person in front of you.
- Wait until the customer in front of you has finished collecting their groceries before unloading your groceries at the checkstand.
- Treat grocery employees with kindness. They are working hard to provide everyone with safe access to the food and supplies they need. Be patient as they go about their work including additional cleaning protocols and consider acknowledging them with a big ‘thank you.’
- Be aware of your store’s special hours or procedures. Many grocers are offering special shopping hours exclusively for seniors or other vulnerable populations. Check out your store’s website or call in advance.
- Allow for extra time. Some stores are queuing customers outside their main entrance to reduce crowding within the store.