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Never Do This at Grocery Store, Say Health Experts

Stop doing these things at the grocery store ASAP!
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

From slipping and falling to on the job injuries, grocery stores can pose major health hazards and customers oftentimes make it worse by behaving in ways that put others at risk like going to the store sick, coughing onto produce, touching food with dirty hands and more. Eat This, Not That! Health talked with experts who explained gross behaviors that should be stopped immediately while at the store to help prevent sickness and accidents, Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Don't Ignore a Spill

milk grocery store

Noe Sanchez, head chef of Urban Market Chicago says one of the biggest things people do that's dangerous is not report a spill. He says, "If you spill something, say something. Spills are a big hazard for slips and if it's not cleaned up right away, it'll just make the store a mess."  


Don't Wait to Get Inside a Store to Put on a Mask

Woman holding cabbage in store.

For anyone immunocompromised or concerned about catching COVID, Sanchez states, "Don't walk in without a mask, put it on outside, there's a ton of foot traffic at the entry way and everyone passes through, so the air is more likely to have the virus." 


Stop Touching Produce You're Not Going to Buy

Write a healthy grocery shopping list

Nobody wants to buy a piece of fruit that's been handled by others, so don't do it. Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, Urgent Care Medical Director and Physician, Carbon Health, and Saint Mary's Hospital tells Eat This, Not That! Health, "If possible, try not to touch, squeeze, or smell any produce you do not plan on buying. Every time you touch an item you have the potential to transfer germs to you or the produce. Try to rely on the appearance of the food such as color and shape to decipher if it's ready (ripe) to eat." 

RELATED: Habits Secretly Increasing Your Abdominal Fat, Say Physicians


Don't Touch Your Face in the Grocery Store

Young beautiful woman shopaholic in protective face mask shopping online on mobile phone

Dr. Curry-Winchell shares, "The grocery store has many items that are frequently high touch surfaces. When you touch those items and contact your face you could inadvertently introduce your body to a virus or bacteria that can make you sick."
RELATED: Habits Secretly Increasing Your Pancreatic Cancer Risk, Say Physicians


Don't Let Your Children Ride on the Side or Main Part of the Shopping Cart

grocery shopping

"As an urgent care physician, I have seen several injuries (sprains and broken bones) due to the cart toppling over on a child," Dr. Curry-Winchell states. "The cart can easily tip if too much weight is applied to one side. Use the appropriate designated child seating area."

RELATED: The #1 Sign Your Blood Sugar is "Way Too High"


Don't Sample Food in the Grocery Store

grocery shopping

"Just say no to receiving a sample at the deli," Dr. Curry-Winchell emphasizes. "The deli clerk is touching several items (bags, scales, labels, etc.) and you have touched the shopping cart. Don't take the chance of eating your sample before washing your hands. Although wearing gloves it is unlikely they change their gloves between each customer.  Ask the clerk to change their gloves when you place your order."   


Don't Shop Hungry

couple grocery shopping

Dr. Curry-Winchell reminds us, "If you are hungry, you have the potential to make unhealthy choices you wouldn't normally make such as buying processed snack foods you can eat once you get in the car. Eat a meal or snack that is filling (containing protein) before entering the store which will help you stay focused on your shopping list and decrease impulsive buying."


Always Wash Fruits and Vegetables

Woman Washing her hands with soap and water at home bathroom

Dr. Curry-Winchell says, "Lastly, it is always important to wash your fruits and vegetables when you get home as well as your hands prior to eating. This will decrease your risks of ingesting viruses or bacteria that can make you sick."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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