Food Safety Specialist, Professor Ben Chapman of North Carolina State, shares guidelines for safe grocery shopping & delivery amidst the Coronavirus outbreak.
We’ve all seen the articles about how little Gig companies are doing to protect workers. We knew that we had to do better for Dumpling Business Owners. So, we went on a hunt to find a subject matter expert that could educate us all on best practices for COVID-19 prevention & protection. Enter, Profession Ben Chapman, from North Carolina State University, a food safety expert. We were lucky enough to snag an hour of Ben’s time, amidst his almost 100 interviews with various media outlets in the past week.
In a Live virtual event on Thursday, March 26th, Ben gave Dumpling Business Owners the rundown on best practices to keep themselves and their customers safe from COVID-19. This was followed by a question and answer session, with information specifically catering to grocery delivery.
Here are the key takeaways:
- If you feel unwell, stay home!
Even if you feel a little off, have a slight cough, etc. please stay home to avoid putting others at risk.
- Wash OR Sanitize your hands (and cart) regularly!
Ben shared that this is an “and/or” scenario. He encouraged business owners to be mindful about their resources, sharing that if hand washing is an option, it is sufficient, when done properly. The key times to wash or sanitize include:
- After you get out of your car, before shopping.
- At the cart, sanitize the handle
- After shopping for produce
- Before getting back in your car, you should wash/sanitize your hands, seat belt, and steering wheel.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is only effective when used properly AND should be reserved for medical professionals.
Gloves are not an alternative to hand washing, nor do they offer more protection than hand washing/sanitizing. If you do wear gloves, please wash or sanitize upon removal.
Face masks can be more harmful than helpful, if not used properly. Social distancing of 6ft or more is the best way to avoid contact with potentially infectious droplets shared from others.
- All groceries should be dropped on the porch and should be communicated via text or phone call, to avoid contact with a door, doorbell, and door knob. Contact with the customer is not advised, especially those in vulnerable populations.
The bottom line is that each and every individual is responsible for his or her own safety, but that doesn’t mean that as a tools provider for Grocery Delivery businesses that we can sit back and hope for the best.
We hope that this video and additional resources will be shared across all grocery delivery workers, to ensure they all have access to accurate information to help protect themselves and their customers, as they continue to work amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.