SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - With stay in place orders extended to at least April 30 due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the California Grocers Association (CGA) has compiled a list of safe shopping tips to share with customers. 

"Convenient and safe access to food and essential products at local grocery stores is more critical than ever during these uncertain times,” said Ron Fong, president and chief executive officer of CGA.  “Shoppers are understandably looking for credible and practical information about how to keep themselves, fellow shoppers and grocery workers safe and healthy. Today we are releasing a list of Top 10 Tips for Safe Shopping to help guide best practices for consumers.” 

 These are the tips CGA is sharing for safe shopping: 

  1. Only visit the grocery store when it's essential, and then buy only what you need for one week, or a little more. CGA is asking customers to be creative with what they have on hand before going to the store and not to overbuy. 

  1. Wash or disinfect your re-usable grocery bags after each use. Some grocers have banned re-usable shopping bags and others are asking customers to bag their own groceries if they want to use re-usable bags. 

  1. Help reduce store crowding. CGA asks that families only send one person to the store. 

  1. Practice social distancing within the store. Shoppers should stay six feet away from one another, which is approximately the length of two grocery carts. 

  1. Inspect produce with your eyes, not your hands. Shoppers should avoid unnecessary handling of fruits and vegetables and CGA suggests use of a produce bag when picking out produce. 

  1. Avoid unnecessary handling of all items in store. Consumers should only pick up products they intend to buy. 

  1. Don't crowd the checkout-stand. CGA asks shoppers to continue social distancing practices even when waiting in line to pay for groceries. 

  1. Treat grocery employees with kindness. CGA points out that grocery employees are working very hard at this time, and safety measures put in place and out-of-stock items are out of their control. 

  1. Be aware of your store's special hours or procedures. Many grocers are offering special shopping hours exclusively for seniors or other vulnerable populations which can usually be verified online. 

  1. Allow for extra time. Some stores are limiting the number of shoppers that can be in the store at one time.