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Safe grocery shopping

We’ve been told by the Government to stay at home, our movements have been restricted. Yet a trip to a supermarket to buy food is, for most people, unavoidable.

Getting food is risky. Going to the supermarket requires you to touch surfaces shared by other people — shopping trolleys, baskets and self-serve checkouts to name a few.

Let’s consider how long the coronavirus can live outside of the body. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces. Studies suggest that coronaviruses may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions, for example the type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment.

It’s important to use this knowledge to do the best we can when handling our grocery shopping. So, how do we minimise the risk?

Before leaving for the supermarket:

  • Plan before you go so you are in and out of the store in the fastest time possible. Go back to the old-fashioned way of writing up a shopping list.
  • If you're a senior or in another high-risk group, take advantage of the senior shopping hours many stores in Western Australia have introduced.
  • Shop at less busy times.
  • Don't go to the supermarket if you are showing cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms.

At the supermarket:

  • Before going into the store, give your hands a good squirt of hand sanitiser.
  • Before you touch your cart, wipe it down with an antiseptic wipe.
  • Commit to buy the item before you pick it up.
  • While you're in the store, stay at least 1.5 meters away from other shoppers.
  • Plan to shop for two weeks, limiting the amount of times you leave the house.
  • Use credit cards to pay for items, instead of handling cash.
  • Don't touch your face.

Upon returning home from the supermarket:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • It's good practice to rinse off your fruits and veggies before putting them away.
  • Wipe down any packaging with antiseptic wipes.
  • Wash reusable bags after unpacking your groceries. If you're using reusable bags that can't be washed, wipe them down, inside and out, with an antiseptic wipe.
  • After unpacking, sorting and putting away your groceries, wash your hands.
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