Public spaces are one of the major places and ways that diseases spread, because everyone has access to them and can easily contaminate objects and others, and it will spread like wildfire.
Supermarkets are just such public areas, but there is no need to panic. There are things you can do to help ensure that you remain safe when shopping. The following are just such ways.
1. Double-bag your meat
The meat section of supermarkets are some of the most contaminated areas of the entire complex, even though they may look sterile. This is because of the nature of the product itself; raw meat almost always have microbes living in them, no matter the decontamination methods employed to clean them before sale, while food stuffs in other parts of the complex are usually packaged plant produce which makes it harder for microbes to live in.
A study by Tennessee State University showed that around 50 percent of packages containing poultry had microbes including E.coli living on their outsides. These microbes could easily to spread to other packages when the meat packages are placed in the grocery bag or cart.
To prevent this, use an object or plastic bag (not your hand) to pick up the packaged meat produce, placing it in another bag, then placing that bag into another bag.
3. Wipe and wait
Grocery carts are usually laden with microbes from previous people who have transferred them there from their contaminated hands or from contaminated foods. In fact, a study by the University of Arizona says that 72 percent of all shopping carts have disease-causing microbes living on them like E. coli.
To protect yourself, wipe the handle of the grocery cart with an antibacterial wipe when you first enter. Then wait for 20 seconds for it to dry, and before you touch it, so you avoid transferring the bacteria to your hands when it is still wet.
3. Avoid foods cut in the open
Foods like meat and cheese that are cut or sliced in the open atmosphere should be avoided as much as possible because they invariably contain microbes such as Listeria monocytogenes which can cause symptoms that resemble the flu, like stiff neck, meningitis, fever, and headache, as well as complications in pregnant women. This is according to a research conducted by Pordue University. The machines, knives, and other equipment used to cut and package the foods are not cleaned often enough, giving ample time for bacteria to grow and spread.
Instead, go for foods that have been cut and prepared in a vacuum.