Coronavirus: experts in safe food shopping during a pandemic

Mar 29, 2020 12:25 AM ET

Grocery stores are still open, but that doesn’t mean you should shop as usual. Business Insider spoke to two experts to find out what precautions buyers should take in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña is director of global health at Northwell Health and assistant professor at Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University, while Dr. Jaimie Meyer Assistant Professor of Medicine and Assistant Professor of Nursing at Yale School is Medicine.
Both experts emphasized that they should keep a distance of two meters from other buyers, wipe touch-sensitive surfaces such as shopping trolley handles and wash their hands after handling food.
While Meyer said wiping food before storing is not necessary, Cioe-Peña recommended just that because viruses can live on certain surfaces for up to several days.
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Grocery stores remain open as the corona virus closes much of America. Just because they̵ are open for business doesn’t mean you should shop as usual.

To find out exactly what precautions to take, Business Insider spoke to two experts about how to shop for groceries safely.

Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña is director of global health at Northwell Health and an assistant professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University. Cioe-Peña said that while grocery stores are considered essential, it doesn’t mean that people get a pass for social distancing.

“Because people assume that because it is an essential area, they meet people, talk to people, do the whole social thing. But you don’t get a pass for social distancing if you are only in the supermarket. You have to still.” Avoid people, “said Cioe-Peña.

Dr. Jaimie Meyer is an assistant professor of medicine and an assistant professor of nursing at the Yale School of Medicine. Meyer advised ordering delivery or pick-up at the roadside, if possible to the grocery store.

“Be sure to give your delivery agent a generous tip,” said Meyer. “You queue for your ice cream box! Ideally, tip electronically so that you don’t have to exchange cash, use your credit card or the community pen. Let the delivery person leave the groceries outside (or maybe even leave out) a cooler Fill) and then bring in after leaving. “

Meyer emphasized the importance of washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after handling food.

Medical Coronavirus Virus Flu Sick Cold Hygiene Hand Disinfectant Clorox Wash Hands Soap Cox 4. Washing hands home is of the utmost importance

Both experts said that the most important steps a buyer can take to avoid infection is to avoid others and wash their hands as soon as they get home. It is also important that you disinfect or avoid surfaces that may have touched many others, e.g. B. shopping trolley handles, door handles and payment machines.

“Try going at times when it’s less crowded so you can keep that six feet of social distance,” said Meyer. “If available, wipe the handle of the shopping cart with a bleach wipe. If you need to touch touch-sensitive surfaces like freezer door handles or credit card machines, cover your hand with your sleeve.”

“We still ask people to keep six feet of social distance,” said Cioe-Peña. “People are concerned about getting it from their food, and that’s just not a viable mechanism to get it.”

Even if someone sneezes directly into your food, you won’t get the virus from eating the food.

“There is still no evidence that food or food packaging is associated with disease transmission,” said Meyer, citing the CDC, which currently does not recommend wiping every single food product.

However, Meyer continues to advise you to wash your hands frequently while handling recently purchased foods and surfaces with high contact such as. B. counter, as the virus can live on certain surfaces for several days. Meyer also said that experts still don’t know how the virus responds to temperatures in refrigerators and freezers.

Cioe-Peña, on the other hand, recommends setting up a hygienic area for food and wiping every single product with soap and water.

“When people come home, make sure to wipe the containers and outer packaging of everything they bought before putting them away,” said Cioe-Peña.

For this purpose he uses a mud room in his house and wipes every container with soap and water before he brings it inside.

“It’s probably a little over the top, but there are viral fomites – surfaces on which the virus can live – and the virus seems to particularly like plastics and metals, so I think it’s important for plastic containers used by other people in the world Supermarket handled Be wiped off before they are brought into your home, “said Cioe-Peña.

Regardless of which approach buyers choose, the virus can only spread across surfaces if they touch an infected surface and then touch their face. Buyers should always wash their hands after handling newly purchased food, regardless of whether they have disinfected the food themselves. Meyer also recommends deleting the phone if you have used it in the store to write text messages or to view a shopping list.

And Meyer added: “Don’t hoard the toilet paper! Remember, we’re all together – your neighbor also needs toilet paper.”

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