Friday, March 20, 2020

So, is it really safe to go shopping?

In case you were wondering whether it is safe to go shopping in this time of social distancing, here's a handy guide from the Kitchn website, based on the current information available. The answer, of course, as it always is in these uncertain times, is yes and no. But it might make you feel a little better to read it.
The main conclusions, in brief:
  • Don't go any more often than you need to, keep your two metres distance from other shoppers as far as possible, wipe down the shopping cart handle before you start, try not to touch your face, and wash your hands well with soap when you get back.
  • If you get groceries delivered, ask for them to be left outside your door if at all possible.
  • It's unlikely (but not impossible) that you will catch anything from the packaging on groceries, but if it makes you feel better, you can wipe down cans and and boxes. It is recommended that you wash your hands thoroughly after unpacking, though, and maybe multiple times while using the grocery items during food preparation.
  • The chances of catching anything from fresh fruit and veg are also very low, but wash them well in cool running water before using (as you should be in the habit of doing anyway), and consider using a vegetable brush for harder items (just remember to wash that brush regularly with soap).
  • The same applies to salads and prepared foods from the deli counter (providing you have confidence in the store's general cleanliness procedures).
  • Cooking food will kill the virus (but wash the fruit and veg ingredients anyway). Freezing, however, won't kill it (but then you'll probably be cooking it anyway, right?).
  • Produce from a smaller store or farmers' market may have been handled less, but this is not necessarily the case.
  • Don't avoid fresh produce completely: your immune system and general health need it. However, if you are immuno-compromized, you mught want to stick to pre-packaged produce for now.
  • And finally, there is no need to panic buy and stockpile foods: there is no reason to believe that supplies are at risk, or that we are going to run out of food.
That all seems like sound advice to me.

No comments: