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Clifton: Smart shopping & food safety during COVID-19

We have conquered Phase I and are now entering Phase II. This means that more people are going to be out into the grocery stores and restaurants and other places. We still must remember to follow the guidelines of Governor Edwards and Parish President Hotard to wear face masks, keep social distancing and wash our hands for 20 seconds. It is very important that we do these important gestures, not only for ourselves, but for others. Everyone has a role to play in making sure our community is as safe as possible to remain open and move to Phase III when the governor gives the OK.

Here is a list of things that we can do before we go to the grocery store to shorten our trip:

  • Inventory our pantry, refrigerator and freezer of items needed.
  • Check newspaper or online ads for special sales and create a shopping list of the items for at least two weeks.
  • Clip coupons or use phone app of items that can save you money.
  • Purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, food with high fiber and high proteins, grains, pasta, and rice, dairy products and treats for the children and late nights.
  • Be familiar with the layout of the grocery store, so that you do not have to go down every aisle. Remember perishable items are around the peripheral of the store and non-perishable items are in the middle of the store.
  • Consider food preferences of things that your family eats and not things that you think they might eat.
  • If you have a compromised immune system, purchasing items that are pre-packed such as lettuce, canned goods and frozen foods are a better choice. Lettuce is wrapped and not open in the environment.

When returning home from the grocery store, remember to wash hands for 20 seconds and wash fresh fruits and vegetables before putting away. After putting away your groceries, disinfect your countertop where the groceries were and wash your hands again for 20 seconds.

We want to continue to be safe and healthy, so follow the guidelines given to us, so that we can move to Phase III and even into the new norm, whatever that may be in the future.

Stay healthy and be safe.

 

Cynthia Clifton is the General Nutrition Agent for the St. John the Baptist Parish extension office of the LSU Ag Center. She can be reached at cclifton@agcenter.lsu.edu.