In June, several regions have entered the final phase of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) following the COVID-19 outbreak. The month also marked the beginning of transition period with several stores and public facilities reopened for public, such as supermarkets, restaurants, and worship places.
After the transition period ends, we entered a new life order, or the so-called new normal. During this time, we can go back to doing activities outside, but we must strictly follow health protocols to avoid COVID-19 infections. Under the new normal, we are expected to remain productive and stay healthy.
Safe Ways to Shop
As we enter new normal, the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) released safety guidelines for activities outside home, including tips for safe shopping. You can listen to these guidelines in an e-book titled “All about COVID-19, Prevent COVID-19, Health for All.” By following these guidelines, you do not need to worry about doing monthly shopping, including buying
Shopping at the supermarket:
1. Wear Protection
The main tips for safety while doing activities outside during the new normal is to wear protective gears such as masks, face shields, and gloves. This can also be implemented when you go to the supermarket. The mask must cover the mouth and nose completely. There are three types of masks suggested by BPOM. They are cloth masks for healthy people, surgical masks for medical personnel and sick people, and N95 masks for medical personnel and people who have direct contact with COVID-19 patients.
2. Always Brings New Normal Essentials
Don’t forget to bring new normal essentials in your bag when you are going outside, including shopping at the supermarket. If you wear cloth masks, don’t forget to bring a spare as cloth masks are safe to use for a maximum of four hours. Don’t forget to bring hand sanitizer, small packs of soap, dry wipes, and alcohol-based wet wipes.
3. Wash Your Hands Often
Washing your hands with running water for a minimum 20 seconds is still the best way to avoid novel coronavirus infection. Therefore, you must do it as often as possible when you find sinks or places to wash your hands at the supermarket or other public facilities.
4. Clean the shopping cart/basket
Don’t forget to clean the shopping cart/basket before use by using alcohol-based wet wipes. Or, you can wear gloves before touching the shopping cart/basket.
5. Keep your distance
Another important thing is to keep your distance with other visitors at the supermarket by at least 1 meter. Obey the queue distance when paying your groceries at the cashier.
6. Use non-cash payment
Viruses can stay in objects around us, including money. So, it will be safer to use non-cash payments when making transactions. Don’t forget to wash your hands after using e-money, credit card, or debit card.
7. Perform preventive protocols when you get home
BPOM further recommends the implementation of preventive protocols when arriving at home. First, take off your footwear before coming into the house. Second, clean all equipment that have been used, such as shoes, mobile phones, vehicle keys, wallets, etc. You can clean them with a disinfectant, alcohol swab, or UV sterilizer box. Third, wash your hands. Fourth, throw away items that are no longer needed, such as shopping receipts, plastic bags, and so on. Fifth, clean yourself with a shower and shampoo.
8. Wash the groceries
There are washable groceries that can be cleaned with soap, such as plastic-packaging products. For washable food and fruit, such as orange and papaya skin, you can wash them with food-grade soap.
Below are guidelines on online shopping that you can follow:
1. Pick items that are neatly packaged
Before making transactions while shopping online, make sure that the items are neatly packaged by asking the seller via chat box.
2. Choose cashless payment
Do this in order to minimize the possibility of contracting the virus while touching bank notes. You can pay by using mobile banking without having to leave the house just to find an ATM.
3. Check details
If you want to buy food products, don’t forget to check information on the packaging, label, distribution permit, and expiration date. Make sure the product has obtained distribution permit from BPOM.
4. When the product arrives, make sure the packaging is not damaged
When the product arrives, make sure the packaging fully covers the product and nothing is torn.
5. Avoid direct contact with courier
Avoid direct contacts with couriers by asking them to put the package in front of the house. Then, you can pick it up and don’t forget to use a mask and gloves.
6. Spray the package with disinfectants
Spray the package with disinfectants. Then, wash your hands with running water and soap for 20 seconds.
7. Open the packaging
Open the packaging and throw away any unnecessary packing by putting it in a closed plastic bag. Then put it in the trash can outside the house.
8. Wash the groceries
Clean the washable groceries with soap and running water, such as products in plastic packaging, canned food, and so on.
9. Choose trusted stores
Choose trusted e-commerce or online stores that implement safety procedures. You can read other buyers’ comments as reference. You can also buy products from the official online shop. As an example, if you want to buy
These are safe tips for grocery shopping, including buying