WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Make grocery store habits fit coronavirus guidelines

Posted March 31, 2020 1:17 p.m. EDT
Updated March 31, 2020 7:02 p.m. EDT

— Have you been to the grocery store lately?

We've all seen plenty of people wearing masks and gloves, keeping their distance at the check-out.

But when it comes to the actual shopping, several viewers have pointed out that we're not moving away from old habits.

"People went about shopping, business as usual," described Joe Coon.

He reached out to WRAL's 5 On Your Side, worried about what he saw in his Cary grocery store.

"People were picking up the tomatoes, sniffing them, squeezing on them," Coon said. "And they were doing that with oranges and everything else. Pick it up, check it out for ripeness, put it back down."

"Places like in the bread aisle, here's four or five people standing real close together comparing prices and brands and looking for their favorite brand."

He saw the same in the meat aisle, and he is concerned about how it might add to community spread of coronavirus.

Nurse Practitioner Susan Catchings, with Avance Care, has this advice: "Don't touch things. Only reach for something that you know you're going to buy."

Catchings says the concern is real, and it should start with your cart.

"Don't be touching different parts of your cart," she said. "Only touch the handlebar after you've washed it down or after they've washed it down."

And once you're in the store, make shopping a mission.

Catchings says start with a list.

"Be an efficient shopper. Don't just buy randomly. Go there without a purpose. Get what you need and go home. "

"Quick in, quick out," said Joe Coon of his new habits.

He's also now opting for canned or frozen over fresh produce.

"That sort of thing, that humans have not touched," he said.

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