I know how important food, health and safety are. It is during this pandemic that I grew more sensitive to my family’s needs. Remember I shared with you how I stocked up our pantry for the next 2 or 3 months? I consider ourselves lucky, but my heart goes out to those people who need to really go out and buy supplies for the family or a relative. Also, I admit that there are people who have limited resources and opt to order food instead. Therefore, I decided to share these safety tips which will be helpful when you need to buy groceries or order food.
Safety Tips When Buying Groceries
- Make a list of items that you need for the next 2 weeks or longer.
- Make sure you spend as little time in the grocery as possible. To do that, categorize your grocery list.
- Wipe off the whole shopping cart with disinfectant wipes or with alcohol, especially the handles.
- Do not stay too close to people. Keep a 6-feet distance away.
- Once you bring home your groceries, it is advisable to leave them in the garage or in your car unless you really need to bring them in.
- If you must bring them in, make sure to sanitize each item.
Tip: Stock on food that’s good for 2 weeks. Other items such as toiletries last longer so you can buy 2 months’ worth but do not hoard. Write down the things that you really need such as laundry detergent, hand soap, bath soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, alcohol and disinfectant.
How to sanitize groceries:
Once you get home and need to bring in your groceries or deliver groceries to other family members, make sure you sanitize them well. Remember, we cannot see the virus so we should never assume that the items that we bring home are clean. Here are some safety tips to sanitize your grocery items:
- Prepare your workspace such as a large kitchen table.
- Divide the space to where you place the groceries and a space for disinfected items.
- Wipe off the work table with disinfectant wipes or with a napkin saturated in disinfectant.
- Bring in the groceries and place them on the “dirty” side.
- Bring them out 1 by 1 and wipe off all items with disinfectant wipes.
- If it’s packaged in cardboard or plastic, it would be better to empty the contents into a clean container then throw out the packaging. Examples are cereals and bread.
- In the case of leafy vegetables, have someone open the fridge and crisper and just dump the veggies from the plastic, careful not to touch the veggies. Or, have a container ready where you can dump all the veggies in.
- For fruits and vegetables with skin on, dump them in the sink with soapy water and wash them one by one like you wash your hands (20 seconds).
- Throw away all packaging immediately and disinfect the “dirty” side.
Safety Tips When Ordering Take Out
For those of you who really need to order food from outside, you also need to exercise precautionary measures. You never know who handles your food, so better to be safe than sorry. Yes, it looks tedious but these safety tips are worth the effort of not getting sick:
- Prepare your work station with the “dirty” and “clean” side.
- Place microwaveable containers on the clean side depending on the amount of food.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Get all food items and unwrap. Dump the food into the plates or containers, be careful not to touch them. Same with the sauces– make sure the sauce does not come in contact with the external packaging.
- Throw away all packaging and reheat food in the microwave.
- If you must store leftover food in the freezer, such as pizza, make sure to remove all packaging and transfer to a clean container before placing in the freezer. The virus can survive in the freezer for up to 2 years.
Stay Safe, Stay at Home
Again, I would like to reiterate the importance of staying at home to flatten the curve. If the virus doesn’t jump to another living organism, it will eventually die down and stop spreading. Let’s all do our best and never lose hope.
If you need help planning your meals, check out this Meal Plan Guide.
Don’t forget to share these safety tips to your friends and family! Leave us a comment if you have further suggestions, too.