How grocery stores are taking precaution during coronavirus scare

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, going to your local grocery store may seem like a daunting task, especially when it's in a high-traffic area.

Carlie C's IGA location in Fayetteville at the Bordeaux Center is taking every precaution necessary to ensure staff and customers are safe.

What's your risk for getting the coronavirus?

Since the coronavirus first touched down in the U.S., all staff members at the grocery store have started using rubber gloves, something many had already been doing beforehand.

Cashiers use those gloves to handle money and food items that they scan at the front of the store.

"We don't really do hand-on-hand contact, so when money comes through: it's gloves, hand sanitizer, next person," Jessica White said.

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White is a customer service staff member. While the new strand of the virus doesn't faze her, she knows it needs to be taken seriously in an environment like a grocery store.

In addition, the store is located right across from the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

"We deal with a lot of sick people coming here, so we already kind of are on edge with it," White said.

One major concern for shoppers is purchasing items from the produce section, an area where many hands touch fruits and vegetables.

White implores customers to always rinse those items before eating.

Could you contract COVID-19 through the produce you eat?

According to the FDA, they are not aware of any cases that were transmitted by food or food packaging, but the department still recommends shoppers practice good hygiene when preparing or handling food.

"Never eat fruit straight off the counter, because it goes through a truck, it goes through all the process without us touching it first," White added.

On a busy Tuesday evening, the store saw itself low on Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer, a dilemma they've been experiencing since the coronavirus first reared its head.

This is a similar story that The Apple Crate Natural Market is seeing from its customers, many people coming in to buy vitamin C supplements, zinc and elderberry.

"It's been a lot busier the last four or five days. I think we've seen a real increase," Brenda Harris said.

Though they won't prevent you from getting the virus, owner Brenda Harris says it'll definitely help boost your immune system.

"Some supplements have been clinically shown to help nourish our immune system, so that it's stronger, more plentiful," Harris said.

Both stores say they will continue to monitor the situation and see if any further precautions need to be taken.
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