The cautionary coronavirus step Coles and Woolies are taking to protect shoppers

·2-min read

Supermarkets around Australia are taking precautionary measures to ensure their customers stay healthy as confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia surpass more than 100 people.

Woolworths told Yahoo News Australia they had introduced new hygiene measures, in addition to the regular cleaning of trolleys and baskets it requires staff to complete on a regular basis.

“As an extra measure we have instigated additional cleaning to target high-touch areas and equipment,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.

The announcement comes the same day as a Woolworths location in Perth issued a warning to the public after a man who visited the Canning Vale location on Sunday tested positive to COVID-19.

Woolworths customers use self serve checkouts and a Coles customer carries a basket.
Woolworths has implemented additional cleaning on high-touch areas such as self serve checkouts, baskets and trolleys. Source: AAP/Getty

The supermarket giant said the extra cleaning was in addition to the standard nightly cleans.

Coles also confirmed it has stepped up hygiene practises across the network.

“As a food retailer, Coles already has very high standards in place for the cleanliness of our stores. We have been reinforcing current cleaning and hygiene guidelines with all our team members and are following our food safety plans,” a Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News.

The supermarket said it was also following the recommendations of Australian health authorities.

“We are also in regular contact with the relevant health authorities to keep up to date with the latest advice,” it said.

"Help yourself to a shopping trolley wipe," Woolworths supplies customers with wipes to clean their trolley. Source: Supplied/Euan Black
Woolworths and Coles provide customers with antibacterial wipes to clean their trolley and baskets. Source: Supplied/Euan Black

Free hygiene stations

Both Coles and Woolworths also provide customers with hygiene stations, usually located near trolley bays they are stocked with anti-bacterial wipes for customers to use on trolleys and baskets.

“Hygiene stations – which include hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes for customers – are located in all our stores nationwide,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.

A Coles spokesperson said the majority of locations have hygienic wipe dispensers and encouraged customers to speak with staff if the stations are empty.

“If hygienic wipes are not available, customers can ask at the customer service desk and our team members can assist them”.

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