We now know that the risk of COVID-19 exposure is higher in interior public spaces, according to the most recent studies, and this novel virus is also highly contagious. Since the virus can spread in several ways, it’s important to keep your grocery stores clean and ensure your employees are following steps to avoid the spread of the virus as much as possible.
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the virus was detectable on plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours, and on cardboard for up to 24 hours. Charlotte Baker, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, said when you’re at the supermarket, you should “assume all surfaces everywhere have been touched by someone who is sick.” This includes produce and packaged foods.
“Touch just the items you intend to buy, wipe down the cart or basket handles with disinfectant wipes, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you’re done,” she said. Baker added that many people are also reducing their potential exposure by using curbside pick-up or at-home delivery. Even local food producers are offering these services. “Some farmers markets are allowing customers to pre-order foods so they are already packaged when you come pick them up,” she said, “reducing the amount of time that you need to be near other people and reducing the number of items that you can touch.”
Not having a grocery store checklist could cause your cleanliness efforts to lag, which could put your customer experience at risk. The last thing your grocery store needs, whether you’re an independent or a big chain, is to be known as a place where someone was exposed to COVID-19 because cleaning processes were not carried out effectively.