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Is this normal behaviour in supermarkets now?

(195 Posts)
Makeitgoaway Thu 16-Apr-20 08:16:57

Until now we've been making do with what we had plus deliveries from small local firms but had to bite the bullet and DH did a big supermarket trip yesterday.

There's a particular nut he's very fond of which appeared to be out of stock, but he was pleased to find the last two packets at the back of the shelf, just as he realised a couple nearby were looking for the same thing, so he offered them one of the packs. Apparently they declined in horror at the idea of taking something he'd handled.

He was happy, he got his 2 packs, but how do they think they got onto the shelf without anyone touching them? Were they particularly cautious or is everyone thinking like this now?. He thought he was being polite/helpful but they obviously didn't see it that way. The new rules are one thing but how long until we all get used to the new etiquette? Or even agree on what it is?!

OP’s posts: |
MissBPotter Thu 16-Apr-20 08:19:37

I think you’re not supposed to touch things you’re not going to buy, though sometimes I find this rather tricky. A woman yesterday picked up about 5 different laundry liquids, removed the lids and sniffed them, which I thought was a bit off, but your DH seems to have been well meaning. I think some people have forgotten about politeness in this crisis.

Fuchsake Thu 16-Apr-20 08:21:46

The shelf stackers presumably wore gloves, unlike your DH. I wouldn’t touch something someone had handled with bare hands.

Makeitgoaway Thu 16-Apr-20 08:23:14

So you can't pick something up to check ingredients and put it back? If DH had done that a moment earlier, they would never have known, so surely, if you're that worried you have to assume everything is contaminated and wash your hands

OP’s posts: |
Makeitgoaway Thu 16-Apr-20 08:24:43

Ah, the pointless gloves. If the shelf stacker has spent the morning wearing the same gloves, how have they protected anything?

OP’s posts: |
PineappleDanish Thu 16-Apr-20 08:24:47

I was in Asda yesterday and shelf stackers weren't using gloves. Gloves are not some miraculous, magic anti-virus tool. Too many people think they are and this is part of the problem.

I would have accepted a pack from OP's husband in that situation and thanked him for his kindness too.

OwlMother Thu 16-Apr-20 08:25:53

I am a manager for one of the major supermarket chains- very few shelf stackers wear gloves. Items will often have been handled by numerous people by the time they are on a shelf. Then fresh items are touched numerous times a day by customers and then workers doing date code checking. To refuse something that your husband has touched is bonkers.

PumpkinP Thu 16-Apr-20 08:25:57

Tbf I would have declined aswell, my son dropped something in the shop a little while back and a lady picked it up and handed it to him before we even got a chance to get it, obviously was nice of her but I wish she hadn’t, they probably didn’t want to get close enough to take it out of his hand, so I see their point.

Caroian Thu 16-Apr-20 08:26:15

Fuchsake - wearing gloves is no guarantee of anything. The virus doesn’t Leach out of the skin and the surface of gloves can just as easily become contaminated as bare skin.

I’m with you OP that if people are worried about the minute possibly of cross contamination they need to treat all items equally in terms of that risk. And just wash their hands after shopping!

kalinkafoxtrot45 Thu 16-Apr-20 08:26:17

They were being a bit daft but you can’t blame them for being cautious. Everything we buy gets a wipe down once it’s home as you can’t know who has touched things or coughed or sneezed on them, in the shop or warehouse or anywhere.

Lunaballoon Thu 16-Apr-20 08:26:57

I got told off in a local shop by a fellow shopper for moving a packet of ham to retrieve a pack of salami underneath. hmm

JudyCoolibar Thu 16-Apr-20 08:26:59

I wouldn’t touch something someone had handled with bare hands

How are you managing with shopping, then? Anything you put in your basket may have been touched by several people with bare hands.

Caroian Thu 16-Apr-20 08:27:21

Oh, and I think you husband was kind to offer at a time when there seems to be as much selfishness as selflessness around!

ShanghaiDiva Thu 16-Apr-20 08:29:35

I have not seen any shelf stackers wearing gloves. Who knows who’s touched what? Just wash your hand when you get home and don’t touch your face when you are out.
I would have accepted the nuts.

TorysSuckRevokeArticle50 Thu 16-Apr-20 08:29:59

If supermarkets are the same everywhere then I can guarantee everything has been touched repeatedly.

The shelf life of fresh food is pitiful at the moment, I'm having to pick up 2 or 3 of pretty much every fresh item I want to check the dates and find one that lasts longer than tomorrow, or as has been the case several times, already past BB date.

Pipandmum Thu 16-Apr-20 08:30:06

Of course people handle stuff. There's been lots of threads on here about washing grocery items when you get them home but the risk is low and it's not an official recommendation. I don't wash things - I wash my hands.
I do try to minimize touching items but it is very hard not to. For longest shelf life I try and get to the back of a stack, touching the ones in front usually. But I sanitised my hands before I go to the store and wash them when I return home.

BamboozledandBefuddled Thu 16-Apr-20 08:32:34

Three weeks ago in Tesco a man put the last six bottles of 'my' wine in his trolley just as I walked up to him. He might have noticed my bottom lip going a bit quivery and asked if I wanted three of them. No way was I going to say 'No thanks'!!

TheEndIsBillNighy Thu 16-Apr-20 08:33:56

Yes, lots of people act like you have leprosy. It’s unbearable.

Willow2017 Thu 16-Apr-20 08:35:17

The shelf stackers presumably wore gloves, unlike your DH. I wouldn’t touch something someone had handled with bare hands.

Nope we dont, we are constantly facing up shelves and putting things in the right place because customers decide they dont want something and dump it, removing emptu cardboard and plastic trays and tidying up.
Customers frequently pick.items up.to read whats in them and put them down again.
Anyway handling hundreds of items a day means gloves are useless in preventing cross contamination when customers are touching stuff anyway.

AuntyClockWise Thu 16-Apr-20 08:36:55

Sorry but that is ridiculous (not your DH, OP).

My child has allergies and I'm a vegan so I check ingredients on back of packs before putting them in my trolley. This means I regularly put things back that I've touched but don't plan to buy.

Surely it's the responsibility of the person who does eventually buy that product to wash their hands properly after finishing shopping and to wipe down their shopping once home (if that's what they want to do).

We can't be expected to buy something just because we've touched it.

HostessTrolley Thu 16-Apr-20 08:38:37

@BamboozledandBefuddled what a hero smile

Oldhaggard Thu 16-Apr-20 08:38:44

Ah, the pointless gloves. If the shelf stacker has spent the morning wearing the same gloves, how have they protected anything?

This amuses and annoys me in equal measure. It's well known that PPE is in short supply, but people are wearing gloves to go shopping and not even using them properly. I see people wear them touching stuff, scratching their face, coughing into them..... The gloves are just like your hands if the first thing you touch has the virus on it, then everything that you touch after that could have had it transferred, and that includes your bag, purse, money, face, car door and everything you handled to buy.
Handwashing and cleaning stuff coming into the house is far more effective, and not using a limited resource that is needed by healthcare and other key workers that used properly will actually offer some protection to them.

AmelieTaylor Thu 16-Apr-20 08:38:57

Your husband was kind, they were daft. Unless they think fairies stack the shelves.

I wash everything that comes into the house. Washing your hands doesn't remove it from the packaging, so picking it up that way when you get something out of the cupboard/fridge is too big a risk as far as I'm concerned. If other people aren't bothered about getting it 🤷🏻‍♀️

Soubriquet Thu 16-Apr-20 08:40:18

Jeez some people are over cautious

I work in a supermarket. Shelf stackers are either not wearing gloves or are wearing the same pair for their entire shift, which defeats the point.

There’s being sensible, then there’s being neurotic

WorriedMutha Thu 16-Apr-20 08:41:09

I think there's a paranoia arising due to ignorance about a new virus and there being a steep learning curve about transmission and vulnerability. I can remember when HIV and AIDS were emerging. The headlines when Diana held hands with a sufferer. I recall someone at the time telling me they didn't want to go to a restaurant because the waiter could be gay. Extraordinary now but at a time of sensational headlines.

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