• Joey Flores

How to Get Groceries Safely During the COVID19 Pandemic

Updated: Apr 17


Unless you’re a seasoned doomsday prepper, you probably still have to get groceries here and there during the COVID19 pandemic.


According to a survey of Chefling users, 21% only have a week of food on hand, and another 33% only have two weeks, so more than 50% of folks will need to go shopping or have food delivered in the next week or two. As such, these are our top tips for getting groceries safely.


Before we get into delivery and shopping, there is one tip that applies across the board:


  1. Choose stores and delivery companies that take precautions to protect customers and employees. Some companies, like DoorDash, are providing delivery people with hand sanitizer and other things to keep them and their customers safe. If you want to be very safe, call ahead or look online to find out if the businesses you plan to use are taking proper precautions.




If You Can, Have Your Groceries Delivered


The fewer people you come into contact with, the better, so our first recommendation is to have your groceries delivered, if possible. Obviously, this can add a few dollars to your bill and a lot of people are stretched right now, so if this isn’t possible for you or delivery isn’t available in your area, we have tips further down for safely going to the store.


These steps can make grocery delivery as safe as possible.


  1. Order from someone that allows you to pay online or via the app. That way, you do not need to exchange money or a credit card with the delivery person.

  2. Ask the person to leave the delivery in front of your door. Use the ‘special instructions’ area in the app, or a note on your door/gate, to have the person leave the food in a safe place, like your doorstep. You can sometimes send a photo to the driver showing where you want the delivery left.

  3. Stay 6’ away from the delivery person if contact is necessary. If you must go out and get your delivery from the person, ask them to set it down and step back. Let them know it is for their safety as much as yours.

  4. Minimize contact with packaging and DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE. As you bring the groceries or food delivery in, minimize contact with the packaging and keep it away from your face. Gloves aren't necessary because they become contaminated the same way your hands do. Do not touch your face once you have put your hands on the delivery or other items outside your home.

  5. Remove all items from the delivery packaging and WASH YOUR HANDS FOR 20 SECONDS. After you have brought everything in, unpacked it from the delivery bags or boxes, and thrown away the delivery packaging (all without touching your face), wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

  6. Rinse any produce, but do not use soap. Soap on your fresh produce is not good for consumption and is unnecessary. Rinse it and put away as normal.

  7. Put away the rest of your groceries, wipe your counters and wash your hands. After you have put everything where it goes, wipe down the surfaces where your delivery packages were and wash your hands one last time.

  8. And finally the last step, open the Chefling app and tell us what you bought so we can help you figure out what’s ‘Ready to cook’!



If You Must Go Out Shopping, Be Safe and Be Clean


If you have to go shopping, the following steps should be taken to stay safe and keep others safe.


  1. If you are high risk or elderly, see if the store has early shopping for you. This is safer if they allow fewer people in the store and more items are stocked because they just opened.

  2. Wash your hands for 20 seconds before you head out. This is more about protecting others than yourself. You’d want others to wash their hands, so you should wash yours.

  3. Practice social distancing. Keep 6 feet between you and other people while you are out, and don’t be afraid to ask other people to please give you space. If they tell you that they are not sick, tell them it is to protect them as well.

  4. Wear a mask, any decent mask will do. The CDC is now advising that everybody wears a mask while out in public. The ‘quality’ of the mask is of little importance for protecting healthy people in low contact situations. As such, any mask will do, including wrapping a scarf around your nose and face.

  5. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE WHILE YOU ARE OUT. Regardless of whether you have touched anything, get used to not touching your face when you are out, and only after you have come home and properly washed your hands.

  6. Sneeze or cough into your elbow. Do not use your hands, but try to cover as much of your mouth and nose as possible when sneezing or coughing. We all need to do our part to limit the spreading of germs.

  7. Touch only what you plan to buy. Do not touch anything you don’t need to, including shelves, cart or basket handles, etc.

  8. Use hand sanitizer as much as possible. Some stores are offering sanitizer outside. Use some to wipe down your shopping cart handle and your hands. Additionally, if you have sanitizer and keep some on you, sanitize your hands between picking up items.

  9. Use the self-checkout if possible and maintain distance. If you can, avoid contact with the folks at the checkout by using the self-checkout. Whether you do that or go to a checkout person, practice social distancing while in line and paying.

  10. Once outside, sanitize your hands again. It would also be a good idea to do this after you put your groceries in your car.

  11. Once home, remove all items from grocery bags and WASH YOUR HANDS FOR 20 SECONDS. After you have brought everything in, unpack it and throw your reusable bags in the wash, or dispose of your bags/boxes. Then, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

  12. Rinse any produce, but do not use soap. Soap on your fresh produce is not good for consumption and is unnecessary. Rinse it and put away as normal.

  13. Put away the rest of your groceries, wipe your counters and wash your hands. After you have put everything where it goes, wipe down the surfaces where your delivery packages were and wash your hands one last time.

  14. And finally the last step, open the Chefling app and tell us what you bought so we can help you figure out what’s ‘ready to cook’!



We hope you found this information useful and feel more comfortable going to the store now that you know what precautions to take. Please reach out us at hello@chefling.com if there are other challenges you’re facing that you would like us to help you solve!

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