This new advice tells shoppers what to do before, during and after their trip to the supermarket to minimize their risk of contracting Covid-19.
They warn that touching carts, goods, and standing too close to other buyers could spread the virus, and using hand sanitizer and keeping social distance is the key to staying safe.
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has partnered with the Environmental Health Association of Ireland (EHAI) and the Irish Global Health Network (IGHN) to create a four-page document with guidelines.
It highlights the steps you need to take before shopping, during the trip and after. It also outlines what supermarkets themselves should do, as the number of Covid-19 infections exceeds 4,000 in the UK.
But the document points out from the start that “no reported cases of COVID-19 have been linked to contaminated food.”
He adds: “The main risk for buyers is to come into contact with an infected person. “
So buyers should ask themselves, “Is it really essential to buy these food products today?” Can he wait? Do I feel good? Even before they leave their home.
Alternatively, shop online if possible.
“If possible, avoid taking your kids to stores and try to shop during off-peak hours to avoid the crowds,” said the guide.
“Most stores now have special schedules for the elderly to reduce the risk to them. These are usually in the morning, but check with your local store. There may also be special provisions for health workers.
“Take inventory of your items and their expiration date so you can use them by date and avoid wasting food and money by buying things you don’t need.
“Make a list and make sure you have enough food to last until your next scheduled store. Use your freezer to store shorter-lived perishable items such as bread and meats.
“It is not a license to panic but to buy essential items. It is best to limit purchases to once a week, as this reduces the risk of contracting the disease or spreading it to others.
It is advisable to assess the control measures put in place by supermarkets. The big names, like Tesco, have highlighted this in recent media announcements.
Most, however, should clean and disinfect carts and baskets between uses, using clear markings on the floor to help customers maintain social distance, and staff themselves should practice social distancing in the workshop.
What you should do:
- Maintain a safe distance between staff and other shoppers, including on routes into and out of the supermarket. You may have to queue, for example, to enter the store.
- Bring your own hand sanitizer. “If you have to handle a basket or cart, ask if it has been disinfected since the last use. Otherwise, disinfect using either your own disinfectant or the one supplied by the store. Sanitize your hands when entering the store, ideally with your own sanitizer or, if available, the one provided by the store. ”
- Avoid contact with surfaces as much as possible.
- Don’t delay when shopping or chatting with neighbors / friends / store staff.
- If you plan to stay at home for long periods, consider buying non-perishable foods such as canned goods or dry mixes that do not require refrigeration, such as ready-to-eat meats, fruits and vegetables. But be sure to buy things you like and will use.
- Use contactless payment if possible.
- Use the same hand to pick up the products and disinfect our hands after leaving the supermarket
- Wash and disinfect your hands again at home. Then designate a cleaned and disinfected area to sort your purchases.
- Before storing your refrigerators and cupboards, wipe the shelves with disinfectant and a paper towel, then throw them away.
- But if you are shopping for a vulnerable person, leave the goods on the doorstep, call them or call them and back up while they pick them up.