grocery shopping covid 19
Industry Specific Insights

Safe Grocery Shopping and Kitchen Sanitization Checklists

Ryan Chan

A bustling scene inside of a Trader Joes grocery store in New York, on Wednesday afternoon, March 11, 2020. (Sarah Blesener/The New York Times)

While millions across the globe are staying home to avoid spreading COVID-19, many are wondering how to safely go about grocery shopping. In this article we will cover:

  • The different ways coronavirus spreads on surfaces
  • The length of time coronavirus can live on different types of surfaces
  • How to keep yourself safe when grocery shopping
  • How to keep your home safe when bringing groceries inside

Coronavirus can transmit from surfaces to people

Much of the world remains on pause, yet countless essential frontline workers of the COVID-19 pandemic are working tirelessly to keep our world running. Recently, the National Institute of Health circulated an article from the New England Journal of Medicine that found that the coronavirus can live in an aerosolized environment outside of the body for three hours.

Additionally, the coronavirus can live on cardboard for one hour, as well as plastic and metal surfaces for three days. Reports also emerged that active coronavirus particles were found on cruise ship surfaces upwards of 17 days after initial human contact. Though coronavirus most commonly spreads through respiratory droplets (coughing or sneezing) from an infected person in close contact to another person, it is possible for someone to acquire the virus just from touching the face after accidentally handling a product at a grocery store that has remnants of the virus from an infected individual.

These findings demonstrate the importance of social distancing and staying safe inside your home. However, not all workers have the ability to work from home, and some necessary routine activities must still occur. How can we prioritize health and safety, maintain social distance, and go about life in a thoughtful way that protects everyone?

A checklist for safe grocery shopping and kitchen sanitization

It’s unthinkable to have to eliminate grocery shopping from your weekly rituals. The highly contractable nature of the virus has made simple activities, like finding ripe fruit during your weekly errands, seem impossible.

However, there is a smart way to go about essential life activity in a way that keeps everyone, including frontline workers and families, safe and healthy.

We’ve created a checklist of safe grocery shopping and kitchen sanitization tips for families and individuals. These checklists can be printed and placed in the kitchen as easy reminders on how to sterilize surfaces and objects to remove possible coronavirus from groceries.

Checklists for keeping businesses safe

While the previous checklist provides specific ways you can keep yourself and your home safe when bringing in groceries, we also have free resources available for frontline businesses. These checklists for safe businesses during COVID-19 are tailored with information helpful for workers in restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, and manufacturing industries. These tips include:

  • sanitizing and washing hands regularly for 20 seconds
  • considering no-contact delivery options for food services
  • and more

These checklists provide simple steps to stay safe, both within your businesses and inside of your homes.

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