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7 Things Dr. Fauci Does When He Shops for Groceries

When it comes to coronavirus safety, few know better than Dr. Fauci. Steal his tips to be safe when you're grocery shopping.

Dr. Fauci is the pillar of proper COVID-19 protocols. As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he's been the leading expert on the disease and has been constantly updating the public with new warnings and information about the virus.

The Washington Post interviewed Dr. Fauci along with five other health specialists to see how they deal with coronavirus risks in their everyday lives. With different guidance being thrown around seemingly every day, we were particularly interested to read how the pandemic pundit currently goes about grocery shopping safely. While he follows many of the precautions you should take before grocery shopping, apparently there are actually a few non-essential ones he skips over.

This is Dr. Fauci's exact COVID-19 shopping protocol—directly from the man himself. Follow his advice and make sure your current routine doesn't involve any of the 7 Ways You're Grocery Shopping Wrong During COVID-19.

He physically distances

People wearing face masks while shopping for beer and liquor inside a Total Wine and More beverage shop in downtown Bellevue

"I do physically go to the grocery store, but I wear a mask and keep my distance." We all know the drill: social distancing by keeping six feet apart can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Keeping distance before entering the store and during check-out is important, but it's also the case when you're walking down the aisles. Speaking of aisles, grocery stores are considering making changes to their layout due to coronavirus. You can Expect This Major Change to Your Grocery Store Aisles in the coming years.

He wears a mask

22-year-old man with protective mask makes purchase in supermarket

As mentioned in his quote above, Fauci makes sure to wear a mask when he's grocery shopping as well as whenever it's necessary. "[Wearing a mask] dominates everything I do. The only time I don't wear one is when I am alone, when I am home with my wife, or when I am speaking in public — provided there is 6 feet between me and the people to whom I am speaking," Fauci told The Washington Post.

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He goes at odd times

Man wearing disposable medical mask shopping in supermarket during coronavirus pneumonia outbreak

"I usually go at odd times. I spend half the day alone in my office, and I'm part-time at the White House. In the late afternoon or evening, when I'm finished with the White House, I go shopping for groceries, or to drugstores." While Fauci may only go grocery shopping at odd times because that's what his schedule allows, it's also important because there will be fewer people shopping around you. This will decrease the probability of you running into someone who has the virus.

He doesn't bother disinfecting bags

Meat in grocery bag

"I don't disinfect the bags," says Fauci. It's not just to save time. The CDC warned that disinfecting food with bleach could actually poison you. If you follow his tips below, you'll see why he doesn't find it necessary to disinfect the grocery bags.

He makes sure to wash his hands

Washing hands rubbing with soap man for corona virus prevention, hygiene to stop spreading coronavirus.

Once he gets home, Fauci goes to his kitchen and starts unpacking. "In general, I will take the materials out of the bags, then wash my hands with soap and water." It has been consistent advice from experts: make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to protect yourself from the virus—and don't commit any of the 20 Hand-Washing Mistakes That Help Coronavirus Spread.

He uses purell

Male hand using hand skin sanitizer gel tube for washing hand at subway station. Health awareness for pandemic protection

After washing his hands with soap and water, Dr. Fauci tells The Washington Post that and "then use[s] Purell." It may seem redundant, but who are we to question Fauci's routine?

He lets everything sit for a day

Groceries sitting in bag on kitchen counter

After disinfecting his hands, and unpacking, Fauci "let[s] everything sit for a day." Even though the CDC updated its guidelines to list that "touching surfaces or objects" is an unlikely way of contracting the virus, Fauci may still be concerned that there could be secondary contamination via objects and surfaces. The reason Fauci waits this long is that research has shown that the virus has remained infectious for up to 24 hours on cardboard. So, to be on the safe side, Fauci practices a bit of self-control and forgoes cooking up that steak the day he brings it home. To make sure your food will stay good until you can eat it, make sure you employ these 30 Simple Tricks to Make Your Produce Last Longer.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Olivia Tarantino
Olivia Tarantino is the Managing Editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in nutrition, health, and food product coverage. Read more about Olivia