How to shop for groceries while social distancing
AMBER BORDEN | 3/23/2020, 3:34 p.m.
As routines shift and society becomes quiet from the boom of COVID-19, one thing speaks volumes, and that is––people need to eat. Grocery stores are keeping their doors open while people are keeping their doors closed and practicing social distancing.
When buying food, there are options people can work with to ensure their safety. Understanding that being prepared doesn’t mean hoarding or stockpiling groceries, it is buying what is necessary for the time being; what is best during this time.
“There are no nationwide shortages of food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the United States and no widespread disruptions have been reported in the supply chain. FDA is closely monitoring the food supply chain for any shortages in collaboration with industry and our federal and state partners. We are in regular contact with food manufacturers and grocery stores,” the FDA stated.
If people choose to go to the grocery stores, it is recommended that they go when it is not crowded as well as bring gloves and sanitizing wipes if using baskets or carts. When it comes to handling groceries and bringing them into the home, it is suggested that containers are wiped down and the CDC suggests disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. In terms of food safety, the same measures apply to washing vegetables and fresh fruit.
The other option for grocery shopping while social distancing is to order groceries from a delivery service. According to experts if you are high risk it is a better option to choose a delivery service over going out to your local grocery store. Thrillist recommends Whole Foods Grocery Delivery, FreshDirect, Farm to People, and more.
The FDA also recommends the four key steps to food safety in order to prevent foodborne illness: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Keeping in mind your condition, if you are high risk or not, that should dictate whether you should head out to the grocery store or order in. It is important to maintain proper cleansing habits as well as only buying what you need.