Farragut grocers reassure customers

Farragut’s grocery stores are going the extra mile — and then some — to ensure customers’ safety as they try to keep their stores stocked.

“We continue to enhance our daily sanitation practices, including cleaning commonly used areas more often, like cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts food service counters and shelves,” said Melissa Eads, corporate affairs manager for Kroger’s Nashville division.

Additionally, she said employees of Kroger, including Kroger Marketplace, 189 Brooklawn St. in Farragut, are sanitizing restrooms more frequently and restocking with supplies, wiping down shopping carts, baskets and equipment, have closed the salad bars and are “following best practices for safe food handling.

“We will soon be installing plexiglass partitions at many cash registers to further promote physical distancing,” Eads added. “We anticipate every check lane having a partition, including pharmacy counters and Starbucks registers, within the next several weeks.”

Additionally, she said, “We are installing educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.

“We believe these steps will help to ensure the safety of our associates and help our communities to flatten the curve, while at the same time meeting our obligation to be there for our customers.” 

At Ingles Markets, 11817 Kingston Pike, “We are closing early each day to allow for extra cleaning, restocking and to give our associates some extra rest,” said Ronald B. Freeman, Ingles’ chief financial officer.

“For the past (few) weeks or so, those store associates and our warehouse team have been working extremely hard,” he added.

“We understand we have a huge responsibility to our communities in this crisis, and we are extremely proud of how everyone has responded.”

Ingles, too, has closed its salad bar, instead offering packaged salads. 

The Fresh Market, 11535 in Village Green shopping center, also has enlisted protocols for safety, company communications manager Nicole Chabot said.

The Fresh Market also has posted physical distancing visual guidance, and cashiers are taking handwashing breaks a minimum of every 30 minutes.

Concerning the handling of fresh produce, she said, “At this time, the (Centers for Disease Control) and (Food and Drug Administration) suggests there is no evidence that the virus is transmittable in produce, such as fruits and veggies.”

However, “Guests should follow proper personal hygiene and wash their hands, as well as produce, thoroughly when they get home,” she added.

All Publix Super Markets (including 11656 Parkside Drive in Turkey Creek) “has a designated team of associates dedicated to sanitizing items, including but not limited to, baskets, cart handles and pin pads at the registers after each use,” said Nicole Maristany Krauss, media relations manager for its Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee stores.

Publix also will install plexiglass companywide at its registers, customer service desks and pharmacies over the next two weeks.

“Dollar General (including its 11809 Kingston Pike location) remains committed to providing customers and employees with a safe, clean and pleasant shopping environment at all stores and seeks for customers to feel confident when shopping its stores,” said Angela Petkovic, Dollar General Corporation public relations, who noted Dollar General is also closing one hour earlier to allow for restocking.