Fr

How to shop for your family during a pandemic

These strategies for planning meals and grocery lists are recommended by public health officials.
By: Greggory Clark
April 18, 2020
Image courtesy of Ottawa Public Health

There are many strategies that you can use when grocery shopping to avoid the transmission of COVID-19. To separate myth from fact, Ottawa Public Health has published this comprehensive list of safe shopping tips.

Visit ottawapublichealth.ca/grocerycovid19 for the complete resource, which also includes practical advice for meal planning and budgeting, storing foods, cooking at home, and eating food prepared by others.

  • Avoid going to stores if you are sick, even with mild symptoms. Try to have a person who is well go for you. If you become unwell while out shopping, leave the store immediately. Always cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand.

  • Make a list before you go to minimize your time in the store and avoid shopping during peak hours.

  • Offer to purchase food items for others that might be self-isolating (friends, family, or neighbours).

  • See if your store has specific times blocked off for older adults and individuals with a weak immune system/who are at risk. You can also use a grocery delivery service or click-collect (curb pick up) to avoid going into stores.

  • Go shopping alone. Do not bring family members with you. This will help reduce the number of people in the store and help with physical distancing.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after entering a grocery store, as well as after unloading your groceries. If soap and water are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • If possible, clean your grocery cart with a sanitizing wipe. Some stores will provide this option upon arrival.

  • Practice physical distancing and maintain a 2 metre (6 feet) distance from others. This includes while shopping and standing in line.

  • Avoid touching your face. Avoid licking your finger to help open plastic produce bags.

  • Try to only handle foods, including vegetables and fruits that you plan to buy. This will reduce the spread of germs.

  • Clean your reusable grocery bags frequently to help eliminate bacteria and reduce the risk of food-related illnesses. Some locations may only allow the use of plastic bags that are provided by the store.

  • Tap to pay rather than paying with money. This reduces the surfaces you touch and limits the spread of germs.

Source: Ottawa Public Health

Related

3 months ago

"I manage a grocery store. Here's some things everyone should know."

Grocery store owner pens a heartfelt letter to customers urging kindness.
3 months ago

Museums and capital city landmarks shine blue light for health care workers

Ottawa's museums and institutions pay tribute to health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.