Kroger Co. working to protect customers, employees amid coronavirus concerns

Kroger working to keep shelves stocked

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Since last week, people in the Tri-State have swarmed grocery stores. Viewers have sent FOX19 NOW photos and videos of empty store shelves.

Kroger and other local chains say they’re working on ways to keep up with the massive demand.

Many Kroger store hours have changed hours in order to clean and stock the stores.

Kroger’s supply chain and teams are working around the clock to stock items as quickly as possible.

Here are the steps Kroger officials say they’ve taken to protect our customers and associates:

In stores:

  • Cleaning commonly used areas more often, including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and food service counters, and cleaning shelves when restocking products.
  • Sanitizing restrooms more frequently and restocking with supplies, including soap, paper towels and hand sanitizer.
  • Adding extra hand sanitizer at cashier stations, food service counters, and all Pharmacy, The Little Clinic and Starbucks locations.
  • Wiping down shopping carts, baskets and equipment.
  • Partnering with our suppliers to replenish high-demand preparedness products.
  • Continuing to provide our customers with free disinfectant wipes at our store entrances to sanitize their shopping carts or baskets.
  • Following best practices for safe food handling, as always.

For Associates:

  • Encouraging our associates to closely monitor their health and well-being.
  • Providing hand sanitizer and tissues in breakrooms and meeting rooms.
  • Asking our associates to stay home if they, or someone in their household, are sick.
  • Providing financial support from our Helping Hands fund – a company-sponsored employee assistance fund – to associates who may be directly affected.
  • Suspending business air travel for associates through March 31, 2020 and recommending virtual meetings.

For Customers:

  • Encouraging our customers to follow the CDC’s suggested hygiene practices to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • Recommending that our customers also practice safe food handling at home.

Erin Rofles, Kroger Spokeswoman also confirmed service cases, including the salad bar, meat and seafood areas will close.

“There’s no concern about spreading the virus, it does not spread through food. What we’re trying to do is re-assign those associates so they can stock shelves. All of that product will be available but it will be wrapped and on the shelf and not in the service case like we usually see," she said.

FOX 19 NOW viewers had concerns about Kroger Clicklist orders. Some, worried their orders would not be fulfilled or ready for scheduled pick-up.

Rofles said they’re doing their best to bring supplies into the store and advised shoppers to limit themselves to two or three of those essential items. Rofles also suggested only shopping for what you need for the week.

For store hours and information, click here.

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