How to do your shopping safely? While the Covid-19 claims new victims every day, many French people are asking the question. Here are the tips to remember:
Respect all barrier gestures
As the first bulwark against the epidemic, “barrier gestures” (washing your hands often, coughing in your elbow, avoiding touching your face or mouth) must be scrupulously observed on the shelves. They are hammered in stores via posters or audio announcements, such as at Carrefour. “The biggest risk is that someone coughs on you”, recalls Didier Lepelletier, medical officer of health and co-chair of the national working group at the High Council for Public Health (HCSP) on the coronavirus.
Among the barrier gestures: keeping one’s distance from other customers, a minimum of one meter, in the queues of stores. To respect the now famous “Social distancing”, distributors have implemented several sanitary measures. In Auchan stores, a security guard filters the entrances.“A customer can enter when another spring. The goal is to make the checkout easier ”explains management.
Indoors, whether at Auchan or Carrefour, signposted floor markings have been installed, particularly near the cash desks, to remind everyone to stay away. At Auchan, the choice was also made to open only one in two cases.
Do your shopping alone, if possible
So that there are as few people as possible in supermarkets, “You have to try to go shopping alone”, advocates Professor Didier Lepelletier. “Unfortunately, we see people coming in groups, sometimes with the children”, entrust several brands.
Rather do the shopping in the afternoon
In terms of schedules, again to meet as few people as possible, it seems better to shop in the afternoon. “There is a lot more attendance in the morning. We could ask people to come and shop all day long ”, suggests, for example, Auchan’s management.
»See also – Coronavirus: the precautions to take when shopping at the supermarket
Do not wear gloves, unless they are disposable
Regarding trolleys and baskets, which pass from hand to hand, distributors have implemented cleaning measures. “We clean the trolley bars, basket handles, touch screens and checkout mats every hour”, details Auchan’s management. Carrefour, for its part, cites the example of a store where “Each trolley bar is systematically disinfected by an employee after each customer”.
Are these measures sufficient? Should I also wear gloves while shopping? Didier Lepelletier advises against them. “They can be misused. We are going to touch a lot of surfaces, then put them in our bag or touch our steering wheel ”, he believes. According to him, ideally, your hands should be disinfected with hydroalcoholic gel at the entrance of the store and then put on a pair of disposable gloves.
As a precaution, Didier Lepelletier also recommends not putting fruit and vegetables directly in the supermarket cart or basket, but on a paper bag placed at the bottom.
Get rid of packaging as much as possible
Once back from shopping, should we be wary of packaging? Concretely, Didier Lepelletier advises to “Get rid of packaging as much as possible” and of “Do not put boxes in the fridge”. For other types of packaging, such as pasta, he suggests unpacking everything and putting food in closed boxes.
For the packaging of products which cannot be unpacked and which go to the refrigerator (milk, yoghurts, etc.), it is advisable to clean them with a damp paper towel before putting them away. For boxes and other preserves, the amount of virus potentially present on the container will end up in any case not being active after a few hours or days. It is therefore not compulsory to clean them, unless you consume them very soon.
Wash and rub vegetables with water
As for vegetables, Didier Lepelletier recommends “Wash with water by rubbing them” or them “Soak with white vinegar”. “There is only a risk in handling. There’s none left when it’s cooked ”, he reminds.
Wash your hands well before and after unpacking your packages
Last point, the professor advises to wash your hands “When returning from shopping and after unpacking his packages”.
For fragile people: give priority to deliveries or drive
Ultimate solution: do not move at all. For “fragile” people (over 70, pregnant women), who have slots or specific entrances in many stores, the good reflex may simply be to order by phone. This week, Carrefour will for example set up, in Île-de-France and then in 32 agglomerations, an ordering service for the elderly. Free and accessible via a toll-free number, the delivery will allow you to buy a food basket (fresh and dry products, drinks).
Another alternative to avoid physical proximity: the drive, where you can pick up your purchases by car. “There is no contact between the drive staff and the customer, who just has to get out of his car and open his trunk”, says Auchan. For orders by phone or drives, delivery times may however be several days or even weeks depending on the region. So be careful not to go about it at the last moment.