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How You Can Stay Safe While Enjoying This Costco Favorite

Why this super popular benefit of shopping at Costco could be dangerous.

After months of venturing through Costco without various snacks, earlier this month they announced free samples in stores would be returning. In order to keep guests and employees as safe as possible during the coronavirus, they suspended the program.

At the time they didn't release any information about how the Costco samples system would work, but we're now learning new information. And the changes are crazy!

Read More: The Single Worst Grocery Store Mistake You Shouldn't Make During Reopening

Gone are toothpicks, little paper cups, and crowds around the stations that don't allow for social distancing at all. Now you'll be offered pre-packaged food and drink items from employees in masks and gloves standing behind plexiglass, according to The Seattle Times. About 30 of the 547 locations across 16 states are outfitted with these new versions of sampling stations, but more could be coming soon.

"We are seeing what works," Richard Galanti, the store's chief financial officer, told the newspaper. "There are plans to continue to roll it out. We will see."

The grocery superstore is still requiring all customers to wear a facemask to prevent the spread of the airborne virus. They are doing so, even though samples are back and the food court is now open again. You won't be able to sit under the red umbrellas since it's takeout only. Signs let customers know what is available. But expect a few to include staples like hot dogs and soda. They also are selling slices or whole pies of cheese pizza and pepperoni pizza.

Look out for brand new menu items, though, that expand Costco's frozen treats options. Some people on Instagram have posted about ice cream sundaes for $2.49 and ice cream cones for $1.99, according to Yahoo!. Sundae options include vanilla soft serve with either strawberry or chocolate topping. Ice cream cones are only available in vanilla in a waffle cone. There might even be some samples of these around the store!

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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.
Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda