In the context of a pandemic of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, special measures were enacted to limit the contagion, which included the closure of almost all commercial establishments except for grocery stores, pharmacies, drugstores, banks and insurance companies.
Grocery stores remain open so citizens can get their essential access to food and household goods they need. However, in these stores, despite strict disinfection and sanitary control measures, there may still be a considerable number of pathogens, microorganisms, viruses and bacteria, since the surfaces in them are touched by many people.
How to protect yourself from infections when you go shopping at the store?
Here's what you should be most careful about.
Carts and baskets
The first thing you touch even before entering the store is the product cart or basket. It is one of the dirtiest places in the big chains and small neighborhood stores. It is touched by tens, even hundreds of dirty hands a day, so it is very important to keep this in mind before touching your face, as well as your own belongings afterwards.
The most common bacteria found on the surface of shopping carts is Escherichia coli – the same bacteria that can be found in the highest amounts in toilet and fecal samples. Escherichia coli is thought to be transferred to the surface of carts mostly through raw meat, bird droppings (since the carts sit outdoors in front of stores) and customers' dirty hands, the 2012 study published in Food Protection Trends found..
The best thing you can do is to pre-wipe the stroller with an antibacterial cloth before using it. If you don't have this option, wipe the packaging of all the products you put in it before putting them on the shelves at home or in the refrigerator.
Avoid touching all packaging before deciding what to buy
Very often we have to take a product from the counter and look at it and read its label. On the one hand, this is good for our informed choice as consumers, but on the other hand, it exposes us to a higher risk of infections. The more products we touch, the more infections we risk getting.
Limit tapping multiple products to the ones you most intend to buy.
Skip the deli stall
When we are in a pandemic emergency, the consumption of unpackaged food placed on a stand in direct contact with the air and near dirty hands and plates carries an increased risk of infection.So avoid buying meats and delicacies from the unpackaged food stall.