Safety In The Supermarkets
By Lily Erb, Content Writer
Nobody can avoid shopping for groceries. Whether you choose to do it online, in a grocery store, or at a farmer’s market, shopping for food is a necessity. What are supermarkets doing to stay clean and safe during the pandemic?
If you’ve been to a grocery store since the start of the pandemic, you know how food shopping has changed. Although every grocery chain is different, all stores are implementing cautionary practices to keep their customers and employees safe. Wearing a mask is a must. Many stores provide customers with hand sanitizer, some even providing customers with wipes to sanitize your shopping cart. Plexiglass barriers and contactless payment can help reduce points of transmission between customers and employees. Some stores are limiting the amount of customers inside in order to prevent the store from getting too crowded. Social distancing while shopping or waiting in line is highly encouraged. Many stores are also implementing a one way aisles in order to cut down on aisle traffic. Stores are also no longer giving out free samples, which is the most-disheartening practice of all.
Studies show that the cautionary practices grocery stores have put in place can actually influence their business. Customers want to shop at a store where they feel safe. The Consumer Health and Safety Index compared cautionary measures taken in multiple grocery stores. The studies found that Costco, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s have made the largest positive impressions on their customers thanks to their COVID-19 protocol. Studies also revealed that 62% of shoppers would stop shopping at a supermarket if they felt as though the store was not taking appropriate cautionary measures.
How likely are you to catch the coronavirus in a grocery store? According to Bloomberg, not likely. Studies show that COVID-19 spreads in closed environments with large crowds, such as indoor dining facilities or public transportation. Brief interactions, such as passing other shoppers in a grocery store, provide a low risk for transmission. With the various precautions grocery stores are taking against COVID-19, food shopping is relatively safe. Still, 32 million Americans go grocery shopping on an average day. That’s 1 person out of every 7. Although grocery shopping is not the most high risk activity, shoppers still need to be careful. The CDC recommends wiping down your cart, staying six feet from other shoppers, and wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in grocery stores.
Although grocery stores are taking precautions against COVID-19, customers can take it one step further. The CDC recommends using online services for essential errands when possible. By using grocery delivery services like Smart Shop, customers totally can eliminate risk of exposure at supermarkets. Staying out of grocery stores also helps reduce crowds and lines. Let us do the shopping for you! That way, you’re shopping smarter, not harder.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.
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