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 Shopping for Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tips for Shopping for Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During the Coronavirus outbreak, you are able to do physical distancing by not leaving the house, except for important things, such as grocery shopping. However, this also needs to be done carefully. Check out the grocery shopping tips for the following COVID-19 pandemic.

You are not only close, but many of the products you buy may have been held by someone else who could also sneeze or cough.

But this is not a form of not going to the supermarket to buy food. You can be more careful when taking food ingredients to avoid spreading the virus to other people and the surface of your home.

Tips for Shopping Safely Groceries

To prevent transmission of the Coronavirus, the following are tips for grocery shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic:




1. Make sure you are healthy

Before going outside to shop for groceries, make sure you are in good health. If you suffer from symptoms of COVID-19, which are fever, cough, runny nose, or shortness of breath, it is advisable not to leave the house and undergo independent isolation.

To shop for groceries or daily necessities, use the online shopping application or delivery service. As well as being practical, this method can minimize contact with many people thereby reducing your risk of contracting or transmitting the Coronavirus.

2. Touch Items You Only Want to Buy

Some surfaces may pose a greater risk than others. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the virus was detected in plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours, and cardboard boxes for up to 24 hours.

When you are at the supermarket, you must assume that all surfaces everywhere have been touched by someone who is sick, including food that is produced and packaged. Touch only the items you want to buy, clean the basket with disinfectant wipes, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizers when you are done.

Many people also reduce their potential exposure by using curbside pick-ups or home delivery. Even local food producers offer this service.

Some farmer's markets allow customers to order food in advance so they are already packed when you take it. Reduce the time you need to be near other people and reduce the number of items you can touch.

3. Avoid shopping at rush hour

Avoid shopping during peak hours to avoid crowds. That way, your risk for exposure to Coronavirus from others will also be lower.

You can shop in the morning when the supermarket has just opened or in the evening before the supermarket closes. If you shop at a traditional market, avoid shopping in the morning because it tends to be more crowded.

4. Wear a mask when leaving the house

When traveling out of the house to shop, don't forget to wear a mask. If you are healthy, wear a cloth mask. However, if you are sick and forced to leave the house, wear a surgical mask. Make sure the mask you use can cover your nose and mouth perfectly.

Avoid touching the face and the inside of the mask because it can make the germ contaminated from hands.

If you want to correct the position of the mask, wash your hands first or use a hand sanitizer, then correct the position of the mask by tightening the mask strap or fixing the mask strap on the ear.

5. Always carry a hand sanitizer

You can use a hand sanitizer to clean the trolley handle or shopping basket that is often held by others. Choose hand sanitizers that contain alcohol at a minimum level of 60%.

6. Keep your distance from others

When leaving the house, it is important to always implement physical distancing wherever you are, including when shopping. Try to always keep a distance of at least 1 meter from other people, be it the seller, the supermarket clerk, or fellow buyers.

7. Stock of food

So you don't need to go out too often, buy enough food to be consumed for 1-2 weeks. So that you don't forget, first note what ingredients are needed and how much you want to buy.

Avoid panic buying or buying goods excessively because it can use up the stock of daily necessities in the market so that others who need it don't get it.

When choosing food, choose healthy and nutritious foods to keep your immune system strong, such as fruits and vegetables, eggs, fish, meat, beans, and tofu. You can also buy vitamins and mineral supplements if indeed the intake of nutrients from food is not enough.

8. Choose a non-cash payment method (cashless)

If possible, use the non-cash or cashless method to pay for groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Avoid paying for groceries with cash, debit cards, or credit cards because of the potential to transmit germs, including the Coronavirus.

If you are forced to use cash or cards to pay, immediately wipe your hands with a hand sanitizer after receiving the change or pressing the button on the EDC machine. Remember, don't touch your face with your hands that haven't been washed.

Read Also : Coronavirus Can Cause These 3 Diseases

Tips for cleaning freshly purchased food

Until now, there has been no evidence or research that says that the Coronavirus can be transmitted through food.

However, the Coronavirus is known to survive for several hours to several days on the surface of objects, including food packaging. The length of time Coronavirus stays on the surface of an object depends on the material of the object, and the temperature and humidity of the surrounding water.

If you feel that food or food packaging that has been purchased is at risk of Coronavirus contamination, do the following tips:

1. Wash your hands after shopping

Wash your hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds after handling food packaging, before removing food from the packaging, before cooking, and before eating.

2. Clean the food that you just bought

To clean food packaging, you can use hand sanitizers, alcohol, or wet wipes with antibacterial ingredients.

Meanwhile, to clean vegetables and fruit, you can wash it with running water and special soap for food for about 20 seconds. Avoid washing food ingredients with detergent or disinfectant, because cleaning products can be dangerous if swallowed.

After that, discard the plastic bags used to carry groceries and clean the table or other place where the groceries were placed before.

3. Food ingredients until fully cooked

To be safe for consumption, food ingredients should be cooked first until completely cooked. Also, make sure the food is thoroughly washed before cooking.

Shopping for food during the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be done more carefully so that you are not exposed to the Coronavirus and the food you buy is not contaminated by this virus.

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, especially if in the past 14 days you have had contact with a person who is positive for Coronavirus or is in a COVID-19 endemic area, immediately does self-isolation and call the COVID-19 hotline for further guidance.





References

References

  1. World Health Organization. NCBI Bookshelf (2014). Infection Prevention and Control of Epidemic- and Pandemic-Prone Acute Respiratory Infections in Health Care. Annex G Use of Disinfectants: Alcohol and Bleach.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  3. Food Standards Australia & New Zealand (2020). Novel Coronavirus and Food Safety.
  4. U.S. Food & Drug Administration (2020). Shopping for Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Information for Consumers.

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Health and clinical interests include all aspects of infectious diseases

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