How to Safely Shop for Groceries During COVID-19

Connect Healthy Tips How to Safely Shop for Groceries During COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend that people wear protective masks and stay six feet away from others while at the store. But what else can you do to make sure you’re protecting yourself when you shop for groceries during COVID-19?

Be Mindful of What You Touch

The cart handle, your credit card, the pin number machine—these are all things you will likely touch when you shop for groceries during COVID-19. Be mindful of this, and touch them as little as possible. Immediately use hand sanitizer to kill any germs you have come into contact with after touching surfaces at the store.

Yes to Masks; Maybe to Gloves

It is recommended that you wear a mask for several reasons, the most important being that it will stop any droplets of your saliva from spreading to other surfaces in case you are sick. Gloves can help or hurt, depending on how careful you are while using them. If you use gloves, make sure you don’t touch your face while you’re wearing them, and be careful when you take them off to ensure all the germs stay inside the material.

Disinfect Your Groceries

Once you get home from the store, use a disinfectant wipe to wipe down non-porous surfaces like plastic and glass before putting them up.

Do an Additional Cleanup

After all your groceries are up, wipe down your counters and door handles. Then make sure you wash your hands well before leaving the room.

Stay Out of the Store If You Can

If possible, have your groceries delivered or opt to pick them up using a curbside pick up service. The biggest spread of disease is from person to person, so the less interaction you have with other people, the less likely you are to catch it.

Go Alone

If you can, leave your kids, roommates, and partners at home when you go to the store. The less people who interact, the better. Also, children are known to touch everything they can, so leaving them at home will decrease their likelihood of spreading the disease.

The good news is that there is no evidence to show that COVID-19 is spread by consuming food, and it’s very unlikely to spread from food packaging. The biggest chance of spreading the disease is by being around other people. So stay home if you can, and wash your hands before and after going anywhere.

This healthy tip is provided by the Health Information Center. The Health Information Center and Preston Medical Library are still available electronically during Knoxville’s Stay at Home order.

The Health Information Center is a library staffed by medical librarians and certified health information specialists, and you can get health information delivered electronically or by mail for free. Contact them at 865-305-9525 or

Health Information Center Hours

Monday-Thursday, 8:30 am-9 pm
Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm
Saturday, 9 am-5 pm
Sun 1 pm-9 pm


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