How To Grocery Shop As Safely As Possible Right Now, According To Doctors

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

How To Grocery Shop As Safely As Possible Right Now, According To Doctors

Since the “stay at home” order has been extended through May 15, New Yorkers can only leave home for medical needs, brief solitary exercise, or groceries.

You may still have fears about leaving your apartment even for that, but since of course you need food, there are ways to go about it as safely as possible.

The city is also providing free meals to food insecure New Yorkers every single day. Find out more here

The city has asked customers to show their support for grocery store workers by:

  • Only shopping when you need to
  • Wearing a face covering
  • Keeping at least six feet away from others

In regards to the face covering, Mayor de Blasio asked New York grocery stores earlier this week to require customers to wear masks while inside, and Governor Cuomo actually trumped that with an executive order that went into effect on Friday (April 17) requiring everyone to wear masks while in public.

Here is what the expert doctors Journal of the American Medical Association recommends for safe grocery shopping at this time:

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other shoppers.
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugs, or other physical contact.
  • Try to wipe frequently touched surfaces like grocery carts or basket handles with disinfectant wipes, if available.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Before leaving the store or while waiting in the checkout line, use hand sanitizer if available.
  • Avoid shopping in public if you have symptoms such as fever or cough.
  • Wash your hands frequently, before you leave and when you return home.

If you’re worried about after you unpack your groceries, recent studies show that most of the COVID-19 virus becomes noninfectious after the first 24 hours on an object. Also, there is generally not much evidence that the virus particles on those objects would even transmit the disease. The virus will likely be inactive after groceries are put away, especially if they aren’t used for a day or two. And, the inside is not likely to be contaminated either way.

It is recommended that you:

  • Throw disposable grocery bags away once you get home (you can still use reusable bags).
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after unpacking your bags.
  • Wipe the counters where you unloaded your groceries with household disinfectants registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Here’s a good infographic they created with the basics:


You can also read about all the specific measures NYC grocery stores have put in place here.

featured image source: Shutterstock

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