Tips to shop smart and safe for groceries during the pandemic

MADISON, Wis. — A lot of our typical activities have come to a halt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, hopping for groceries is still a must. There are a number of things you can do to make sure your shopping experience and the food you eat is safe.

Before you head to the store write a list of the things you need to purchase and stick to it. Wear a mask to shop and pack sanitizing products, if you have them. Many grocery stores like Festival Foods sanitize carts and offer free products to help you clean your carts too.

While you’re in the store maintain your distance and give people plenty of space. While shopping right now is stressful for everyone be especially mindful of respecting grocery store clerks who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because they’re around so many people.

When you’re ready to checkout try using a no-touch payment option like Google or Apply Pay. If you don’t have that use a card instead of cash. Using your ungloved hands, and then washing them often, is the best bet for the typical tasks like shopping.

Try to shop when stores open or close, experts tell News 3 Now those are the times when stores are the least busy. Once you get home you can leave your nonperishable items out in your garage for three days. This will ensure that the virus is killed off, said Dr. Jeffery Pothof the chief quality officer at UW Health. If you can’t do that you can simply wipe your items down with a cleaner that kills COVID-19. Wash fruits and veggies thoroughly. You can place heartier veggies and fruit, like oranges in soapy water. The freezer will not kill the virus, in fact it could preserve it. However, the microwave and ovens hotter than 150 degrees will kill off COVID-19.

Currently, there is no evidence that food or food packaging can transmit COVID-19. However, it does live on surfaces, including cardboard for up to 24 hours and plastic for up to three days. Safe practices at grocery stores can prevent the spread of coronavirus, which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.

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