12 Protocols for Grocery Shopping During Covid-19

written by Carissa Andrews - Apr 3, 2020
medically reviewed by Dr. Tolulope Olabintan, MD - Aug 3, 2022

Grocery shopping is a necessity for most of us, even during these challenging times. While the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the planet and much of the world is under quarantine, understanding some safety protocols can protect you and your family from infection should you have to shop in the store, instead of getting your food from delivery.

Taking the proper precautions when venturing out to the grocery store right now can literally be a lifesaver. While you might not be able to reduce your risk 100%, you can drastically lower the chances of contracting this potentially life-threatening disease when you must do in-person shopping. Here’s how:

Preparation Before Going Out:

1. Plan Ahead – Shop infrequently, limit trips, and go at off-peak times. Write a paper list (rather than use your phone) and only list the essential things you need for a week or two.

2. Consider Delivery Service – Ordering online (using a delivery service) can be a good alternative if you are at high-risk of infection. Stay at home if you are sick (or if you have symptoms of sickness) to protect the health of others, as well as get better. If you need to order prescription medications, Canadian Pharmacy World is always the best choice to get your prescriptions delivered right to your door with free shipping!

3. Wear a Facial Mask, Gloves, Wear Long Sleeves – While not required if you are healthy, for those who are at high-risk if exposed to the coronavirus, it may be beneficial. Use disposable gloves when out to do your shopping to minimize your exposure to potentially contaminated items, such as doorknobs, carts, basket handles, and food/other purchasable items. Wear long sleeves to minimize exposed skin. If you have long hair, tie it back in a ponytail to keep from accidentally touching your face.

4. Take Driver’s License, Credit Card, Choose an Outfit – Take your driver’s license and credit card out of your purse/wallet to minimize the number of things you bring into the store with you. Prepare to wash them when back home.

5. Pack Your Own Disinfecting Wipes, Hand Sanitizer, Canvas Bags, & Paper – Clean or sanitize your shopping cart and basket handles before and after you shop. Bring canvas bags or paper bags, as they will be better to pack your fresh produce.

6. Single Person Shopping & Drive Yourself – No group shopping, leave kids and other family members at home to lower the household’s exposure. Whenever possible, avoid public transportation to get your groceries. Drive yourself or walk to minimize your risk.

Other Points to Note When Going Out:

7. Practice Physical Distancing – While inside the supermarket, keep a 3-6 foot bubble between yourself and other shoppers.

8. Grab produce from the back - Lower your odds that other shoppers have touched your produce by grabbing it from the back. Avoid putting items back on the shelf after touching and handing them.

9. Do NOT Touch Your Face – Remember never touch your face, nose, mouth, or eyes before you are able to wash or sanitize your hands.

10. Cover Your Mouth/NoseIf you feel the need to sneeze or cough while out, use the crook of your elbow, not your hands. Also, make sure you never cough or sneeze in or around fresh produce displays.

11. Opt for Self-Service – Pay safely and use contactless payment methods, such as credit or debit card. Don’t have others bag your groceries, instead handle it yourself to minimize risk.

12. Drive Directly Home – Use hand sanitizer on the car handles, steering wheel, and drive direct home after shopping. When you get home, be sure to follow the 12 Protocols When Returning Home.

Bonus Tips:

* Check Store Policies – When necessary, check your grocery story to see if they offer dedicated shopping hours for healthcare workers & the older vulnerable shoppers. Some stores may only allow you to use a single-use plastic bag or sanitize your own reusable bags.

* Don’t Hoard – Take what you need for the week and leave food and other household items for others.

* Wash Your Hands as Soon as You Can – Wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after shopping











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While the above article is based on thorough research, we do not claim to offer a substitute for medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. The article was written for information and educational purposes only. We aim to provide helpful information to our readers, but cannot provide a treatment, diagnosis, or consultation of any sort, and we are in no way indicating that any particular drug is safe or appropriate for you and your individual needs. To receive professional medical attention, you must see a doctor.