Tips to keep yourself safe while grocery shopping during coronavirus outbreak

As people try to limit the spread of coronavirus, a growing number of consumers are turning to grocery delivery services in an effort to avoid crowded places but whether you're shopping in-store or online, Consumer Reports said there are precautions all of us should take.

Many shoppers are heeding the recommendation to avoid physical contact with others as much as possible.

"There has been a 20 fold increase in business, according to Instacart, which is one of the largest delivery companies," said Tobie Stanger of Consumer Reports.

When getting groceries delivered, avoid a direct hand-off and arrange to have your items delivered to your doorstep or someplace nearby instead.

Instacart added that option last week. FreshDirect said its drivers will no longer bring your groceries into your home.

Another suggestion?

"If you want to tip the driver, that you set that up in advance on the app," she said.

You should also order earlier than you normally do since delivery times are filling up faster than usual and availability may be limited.

And here are three tips whether you're ordering online or going to the store.
First: wash nonporous containers.

"Like plastic and metal and glass and when you receive them from the supermarket, just wash them down before you put them in the pantry," said Stanger.

Two: wash your hands, counter, and other surfaces you've touched after you've put away your groceries. C-R said disinfectant is likely unnecessary unless you're sharing a space with someone who's exhibiting signs of respiratory illness or has been exposed to the virus.

"In a home where there isn't coronavirus present, you probably don't have to go further than just soap and water," she said.

Three: wash produce under running water and scrub fruits and veggies with hard skins.

If you're going to the grocery store, shop when it's less busy, try to stay 6-feet away from people and take germicide with you to wipe your hands and the cart both before and after you shop.

Also use a credit or debit card, or better yet Apple Pay, so you don't have to exchange cash. And when you can, use your own pen to sign receipts.
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