Keep your distance. It is probably not possible to keep a six foot radius at all times in a grocery store, but try at least three feet because recommended by the World Health Organization. “The majority of the respiratory droplets we produce while breathing and speaking fall to the ground – and on our hands – a few feet away from us, so even a little distance helps,” said Dr. Winetsky.
Limit your trips to the store. Most people don’t have the freezer space or the funds to stock up on two weeks of groceries. But try to have enough food so that you don’t have to do your shopping more than once a week. “Every trip to the grocery store is a small exhibition event,” said Dr. Robert Amler, dean of the faculty of medicine and practice at New York Medical College and former chief medical officer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “You don’t want to do it too often or spend too much time on it.”
Have a flexible plan. To minimize your time in the store, have a shopping list that allows for alternatives. Don’t worry if your store is out of chicken or salmon fillets. Just find a replacement protein – other meats, eggs, tofu, canned tuna, beans – and move on.
Buy sustainable foods. Frozen fruits and vegetables are great to eat in a pinch, but you can buy more sustainable, fresh produce as well. Root vegetables like potatoes or carrots, as well as squash, onions, celery, apples or oranges, can last for weeks. Taste of Home has a helpful guide on the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Regular yogurt, hard cheese, and non-dairy milk can last a while. Whole wheat tortillas can be frozen and are a great substitute for sandwich bread, which takes up more space in the freezer.
Don’t hoard. Panic shopping has caused some people to fight over toilet paper and other people’s baskets. Take what you need for the week; leave food for others. Rest assured, although there may be empty shelves and temporary shortages of some items, food manufacturers are confident in the supply chain and that we will have a lot to eat.
Really, don’t really touch your face. We know it’s tough, but if there’s ever been a time not to touch your face, it’s in a grocery store full of people touching everything before they put it in your cart. Disinfect your hands when shopping and after touching high-contact areas such as freezer doors. “Absolutely don’t touch your face,” Dr Amler said. “Don’t touch your mouth, don’t touch your eyes, or rub your nose until you have had a chance to disinfect your hands.”