How To Shop Safely During A Shelter-In-Place

KCBS Radio Afternoon News
April 02, 2020 - 8:24 pm
Shoppers line up outside of a Trader Joe's in Massachusetts during coronavirus pandemic

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Popping into a grocery store for a single item used to be no big deal, before the coronavirus pandemic. However, that has change as people rush to stock up on essentials en masse at grocery stores across California. 

In an effort to keep people safe and allow grocers to restock emptying shelves the California Grocers Association has released new guidelines.

“Only visit your grocery store when its essential,” says Ron Fong, President and CEO of the association. “In other words, try and plan your shopping so that you only go to the grocery store maybe once a week.”

Shoppers should also buy what they need for about one week at a time. Reported shortages on certain high demand products such as soap and toilet paper are the result of shoppers buying more than they need, not a lack of supply.

“With the overbuying situation, we can’t get products from our distribution centers to the grocery stores fast enough,” says Fong. “There’s no need to buy for three months or six months because the supply chain is fine, it’s plentiful. There’s plenty of products for California grocery shoppers, we just need a little bit of time to catch up with distribution.”

Most grocery stores have adopted new policies to allow people to shop safely, including limiting the number of shoppers inside at one time. 

“From store to store you’ll see different guidelines. We do practice social distancing within the stores and are taping off six-foot sections in the check stands so that we’re not on top of each other as we’re waiting to check out,” says Fong, who asks all consumers to adhere to the guidelines.