How to Shop for a Pandemic

Mar 11, 2020

IGA stores across the country and around the world are mobilizing to serve you and your family during the Coronavirus spread with increased food safety and sanitation measures based in guidance from federal, state, and local agencies. Look to this website for regular insights to help keep your family healthy, including these tips from Courtney Puidk, a registered dietitian at Nutrition on Demand with 10 years experience focusing on the nutrition, health, and disease prevention fields, on what items should be in your shopping cart to prepare for the Coronavirus spread.

As the number of Coronavirus cases grow, state and local governments are taking different approaches to limit the spread within the community, ranging from imposed or voluntary quarantines to social distancing. The key, says the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is to keep in mind that now is not the time to panic; now is the time to prepare. 

So what does preparation mean in the midst of a global pandemic? Most experts agree it's a good idea to have a 14-day supply of essentials on hand so you and your family will be ready should you become sick or need to be quarantined.

Remember, there is no need to go overboard. Check your inventory first. Many of us already have a 14-day supply of daily items in our home. Try to be practical and considerate of others who also need these supplies.

Here's what we recommend shoppers purchase:

Canned and Packaged Goods
  • Oatmeal, granola, granola bars, trail mix 
  • Crackers, pretzels
  • Nuts, nut butters
  • Canned soups, stews, broths (many now available in boxes)
  • Canned fish, beans (also available in boxes or pouches)
  • Pastas and sauces
  • Frozen fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, or sides that can complete a “pantry” meal
  • Frozen pizzas and/or skillet meals
  • Water filters (like Brita), electrolyte drinks if you worry about dehydration (think Gatorade, Pedialyte, etc.)
Household Goods
  • A reasonable amount of toilet paper, tissues, and/or paper towels
  • Disinfectant cleaners for surfaces 
  • Laundry and dish detergent
  • Toothpaste
  • Diapers, feminine products
  • Pet food, cat litter
  • Can opener, scissors for opening food packages (if needed)
  • Medications—prescriptions or over-the-counter meds for your needs
Other—use these as an opportunity for family bonding!
  • Board games, puzzles
  • Books, magazines
  • Deck of cards

While you're preparing your shopping list, it's also important to remember how to prevent the spread of any disease in the first place. 

Tips for preventing the spread of disease:
  • Bring disinfectant wipes in your purse or pocket, and wipe down surfaces (like grocery carts and baskets). 
  • Use tissues for sneezing and coughing. If unable to get a tissue, turn your head and cough or sneeze into your shoulder and remember to wash your clothes later.
  • Wash hands before and after shopping, and use hand sanitizer as needed.
Additional tips from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

You May Also Like

These Stories on Shopper Solutions

Subscribe by Email