Asda and Lidl urge customers not to touch items – ‘please touch less where you can’

Asda outline their latest safety measures during the pandemic

Supermarket rules are similar across all retailers but with rules around touching food and packages in-store being unclear, Asda and Lidl have asked customers to help reduce the amount of times they are touching food items in-store.

With Britons being reminded that coronavirus can be passed on by handling items touched by an infected person, supermarkets have issued advice on rules regarding the issue.

A statement on Asda’s website reads: “Please touch less where you can.”

Customers should only pick up items they intend to buy and limit the touching of products across the store.

The supermarket giant is also using antimicrobial handles to help stop the spread of bacteria.

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The protective coating, which is applied to basket and trolley handles, creates an antimicrobial surface.

Cleaning stations including disinfectant and paper towels are also at the entrance of a lot of Asda stores to help keep trolley and basket handles cleaned as well as hand sanitiser being offered for customers.

Lidl have also trolley cleaning stations in place along with antiviral disinfectant for customers to wipe down trolley handles.

The discount retailer is also asking customers to sanitise their hands before entering the store.

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There are also changes to the bakery and customers are being asked to use the disposable gloves when picking up a food item.

Lidl said: “Whilst we always urge customers to use the tongs provided in our bakery, as a temporary measure, you’ll also notice there are disposable gloves for you to use in order to bag loose items yourself, safely.

“We’re continuing to monitor this area of our store, and will change the way we’re doing things if necessary.”

The supermarket also issued a notice regarding touching products while shopping in-store.

It said: “Where possible, handle only what you intend to buy,” to help stop the spread of germs between customers. 

Rival supermarket Aldi doesn’t have specific guidance on touching food items in-store but their advice is to “wash your hands often and avoid contact with eyes, nose and mouth”.

They also have trolley and basket cleaning stations across all stores and are asking customers to adhere to their one person per trolley guidelines.

Meanwhile, Tesco and Sainsbury’s customers are also being asked to clean their trolley and basket handles before entering the supermarket with the provided disinfectant stations. 

The World Health Organisation says that there is no current evidence that people can catch COVID-19 from food or food packaging and that it is not necessary to disinfect food packaging materials.

However it is always advised that hands should be properly washed before handling food packages and before eating.

The majority of supermarkets are also not allowing anyone into stores unless wearing a face mask unless the customer is medically exempt.

Aldi is offering customers free masks for those who forget to bring one but this is for a limited time only.

The discount retailer said: “Anyone without a medical exemption that refuses to wear a mask is not permitted to enter an Aldi store.”

Asda also has packets of disposable masks available in every store entrance for customers who have forgotten theirs, and they can be paid for at the till once they have completed their shopping. 

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