Customer Safety

Q: What are you doing to keep your supermarkets clean/safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Our stores undergo daily deep cleaning procedures that follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended protocols as well as our own enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfecting guidelines. In addition, the store’s food contact surfaces are cleaned and sanitized regularly and the store follows a routine of frequent, thorough cleaning of public areas, restrooms, and high-touch places such as conveyor belts, credit card keypads and shopping carts. We also installed plexiglass shields at our checkout lanes, customer service desks and pharmacies to provide a measure of protection to our associates and customers.

All associates are trained to follow industry recommended hygiene protocols that include regular hand washing. We also closely follow all state mandates and CDC guidelines, and as new recommendations are shared, we do our best to adapt and respond to changing circumstances.

Q: Will the store continue to require its associates to wear a face covering/mask?
A: Most states in our trading areas have joined the CDC in lifting mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals – and we follow all state and CDC guidance in our stores. We do require unvaccinated associates to continue to wear a mask in our stores. We also continue to require temperature checks for associates reporting to work.

Q: Why do you permit customers to enter the store without a face covering/mask?
A: At ShopRite/Price Rite Marketplace/ and The Fresh Grocer, we continue to follow state and local mandates, and recent guidance issued by states in our trading areas lifts mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals. State law in our trading areas require or recommend unvaccinated people wear masks, and we ask all unvaccinated customers to wear masks in our stores.

Q: What will you do when/if a store associate has a confirmed case of COVID-19?
A: Our stores are prepared and have implemented the CDC recommended protocol to reduce the spread of the virus. In the event of a confirmed case of coronavirus, stores are trained to take the following steps:

  • Making sure the diagnosed associate is no longer in the workplace.
  • Notifying colleagues who may have been in close contact with the affected associate.
  • Implementing deep cleaning procedures including sanitizing all workspaces used by the associate and common areas including high-touch areas throughout the store.

Q: Will you notify the public if/when an associate is diagnosed with COVID-19?
A: Our stores follow a notification protocol when an associate is diagnosed with COVID-19. When an associate has a confirmed case of COVID-19, our protocol requires us to notify our local department of health. We will follow their direction and guidance regarding public notification. We then notify all of the store associates that a colleague has been diagnosed.

Q: Are store employees being tested for COVID-19?
A: We have not been advised by the CDC or department of health to test our associates. As part of our regular Human Resources policies, we advise all associates who become ill to stay home and consult with their doctor. Their doctors will determine the course of action, including testing. We do have a temperature monitoring process to check the temperatures of all associates and vendors as they arrive for work each day. Since a fever is one of the symptoms of COVID-19, those associates or third-party vendors whose temperatures are above 100.0 F will be asked not to enter the facility, return home and not return to work until the fever subsides for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers, and have no other symptoms of COVID-19.

Q: Do store employees wear gloves when they handle food?
A: Store associates who work in our food service departments including our deli, prepared foods, meat, seafood and bakery departments are trained to follow current FDA Food Code standards, which include wearing gloves when handling food and engaging in other state-mandated food safety and sanitizing procedures.

Associate Safety

Q: What are your stores doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
A: Our stores undergo daily deep cleaning procedures that follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended protocols as well as our own enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfecting guidelines. In addition, the store’s food contact surfaces are cleaned and sanitized regularly and the store follows a routine of frequent, thorough cleaning of public areas, restrooms, and high-touch places such as conveyor belts, credit card keypads and shopping carts. We also installed plexiglass shields at our checkout lanes, customer service desks and pharmacies to provide a measure of protection to our associates and customers.

All associates are trained to follow industry recommended hygiene protocols that include regular hand washing. We also closely follow all state mandates and CDC guidelines, and as new recommendations are shared, we do our best to adapt and respond to changing circumstances.

Q: Will the store continue to require its associates to wear a face covering/mask?
A: Most states in our trading areas have joined the CDC in lifting mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals – and we follow all state and CDC guidance in our stores. We do require unvaccinated associates to continue to wear a mask in our stores.

Q: Do store associates have their temperatures taken before beginning their shift?
A: The following protocol is in place to screen temperatures of associates upon reporting for work, as well as third-party vendors who may visit the store. Since a fever is one of the symptoms of COVID-19, those associates or third-party vendors whose temperatures are above 100.0 F will be asked not to enter the facility, return home and not return to work until the fever subsides for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine, and have no other symptoms of COVID-19.

Q: Is ShopRite requiring its associates to receive the vaccine?
A: We encourage all of our associates to get vaccinated, however, we are not requiring our Associates to be vaccinated at this time. The decision to receive the vaccine should be made between an individual and their health care provider. We are actively participating in vaccine distribution in our stores and have been holding clinics off-site as well. To date, ShopRite Pharmacy and our dedicated pharmacy teams have administered more than 235,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: Are store employees being tested for COVID-19?
A: We have not been advised by the CDC or department of health to test our associates. As part of our regular Human Resources policies, we advise all associates who become ill to stay home and consult with their doctor. Their doctors will determine the course of action, including testing.

Q: What will you do when/if a store associate has a confirmed case of COVID-19?
A: Our stores are prepared and have implemented the CDC recommended protocol to reduce the spread of the virus. In the event of a confirmed case of coronavirus, stores are trained to take the following steps:

  • Making sure the diagnosed associate is no longer in the workplace.
  • Notifying colleagues who may have been in close contact with the affected associate.
  • Implementing deep cleaning procedures including sanitizing all workspaces used by the associate and common areas including high-touch areas throughout the store.
  • Implementing a temperature monitoring program that checks the temperatures of all associates and vendors as they arrive for work.
Senior and High Risk Individuals

Do your stores have shopping hours set aside for seniors and those who are high-risk?
Based on the different needs of each community – and in some cases state mandates – stores are working to best serve seniors and other high-risk individuals in a number of ways, including:

  • Many of our stores have implemented dedicated hours for seniors and have posted signs at the store entrance to alert shoppers.
  • Some stores have dedicated certain checkout lanes in the store as a way of addressing the need to help seniors practice social distancing.
  • You can check a store’s local Facebook page for more information.
  • We continue to emphasize cleaning and sanitizing key areas of the store to safeguard the health and well-being of all of our customers and the associates.

Why do seniors and/or high risk individuals get special hours?
In order to meet the needs of a community, many stores have decided to reserve special shopping hours or designated lanes for our customers who are high-risk, including people who are age 65 and those that are immunocompromised because this is the population that has been identified as the most vulnerable. It is important to note that New Jersey has issued a state mandate that all supermarkets must designate senior hours, so all our New Jersey stores will reserve special hours for seniors. We thank our customers for helping to accommodate this request.

How do you know they are 65 or older or high-risk?
We won’t know for sure. We trust our customers to abide by the guidelines.

Will you ask for ID?
No. We will not ask for identification.

What about first responders?
At this time, seniors and high-risk individuals are the population that have been identified as most vulnerable. We are closely monitoring the situation along with any guidance from state and local officials. Some of our stores have established special hours for health care professionals and/or first responders. The decision remains with individual stores regarding these requests. Please check your store’s Facebook page.

Product Availability/Safety

How will the supply of certain products be impacted by the virus?
At the start of the pandemic we did experience increased demand for a wide variety of products and at times in order to ensure product availability we put limits on certain items. Supply has greatly improved in most product categories and working closely with our vendors, procurement, logistics and transportation teams to make sure there is as little disruption to the supply chain as possible.

Do we expect any shortages of drugs and/or over-the-counter medications?
For the most up-to-date information on pharmacy supply issues, please contact your store’s pharmacy.

Are packages or products from China likely to spread the virus?
According to information provided by the CDC, products and packages shipped to the U.S. from China pose a very low risk of spreading the virus. COVID-19 is most likely to be spread via respiratory droplets.

Is it possible for surfaces to be contaminated with the virus?
According to the CDC, although the coronavirus can live on surfaces, and while it may be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or, possibly eyes, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Researchers believe that transmitting the virus through wrappers and other surfaces is avoidable. The CDC guidance states that hand washing following the touching of surfaces reduces the risk of transmitting the virus. When it comes to unwrapped food products, there is little evidence that the virus is transmitted through ingesting food. As always, food safety rules still apply and all fresh fruits and vegetables should be washed before consuming or prepping them. According to the CDC, the coronavirus is most commonly spread when someone has direct and prolonged exposure to an individual with the virus or by coming in direct contact with respiratory droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person.

Can I get COVID-19 from fresh meat, produce or prepared foods?
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of coronavirus associated with ingesting food. As always, food safety rules still apply and all fresh fruits and vegetables should be washed before consuming or prepping them.

Rising Prices/Advertising and Promotional Changes

The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in unprecedented demand for the goods and services our stores provide. It has changed the way we serve our customers and the products we carry. Because of increased demand it has also caused prices to rise on certain items. The following information explains how prices are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The outbreak has placed extraordinary pressure on the supply chain due to increased consumer demand.
  • Suppliers and manufacturers are working to meet the demand by increasing their production of the most essential items.
  • Although there are no food shortages, suppliers and manufactures have had to rework their supply chains to produce and package product to meet increased consumer demand.
  • The demand placed on the supply chain has caused increases in prices for many commodity items such as eggs, chicken, ground beef, as well as produce items such as broccoli and cauliflower. Other products, such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and cold and pain relief medications have all increased in demand and may experience price fluctuations as well.

Why are you raising prices?
We are committed to offering our customers value pricing each and every day, including through the COVID-19 emergency. However, because of the high demand placed on many of the products we sell, we have seen our suppliers raise their prices on items such as meat, eggs, and produce. We’ve had to pass those price increases on to our customers. However, we remain committed to bringing our customers great values throughout the store.

I know my eggs cost more – have you raised the price?
Eggs are one example of handful of products for which prices have gone up. The demand for eggs has nearly doubled. As suppliers work to increase their production capacity to keep up with demand they are raising prices.

The circular that comes to my house looks different – why?
Our circulars are prepared and printed weeks in advance. That’s why during the COVID-19 health emergency, all future circulars and ads will feature only those items we believe we can have in sufficient supply. Even then, product availability is a very fluid situation – we remain committed to doing whatever we can to bring you the products you need.

I’m forced to spend more in the store because smaller pack sizes of products are not available.
Many of the items and pack sizes we traditionally carried are either unavailable or in short supply. In some cases, manufacturers, in order to keep up with demand have ceased production of certain items to focus on the products they can produce more quickly and efficiently. We are hopeful that as consumers return to their normal shopping habits, our supply chain will once again have the variety we are accustomed to. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this challenging time.

Customer Policies During COVID-19

Reusable Bag Policy

During the COVID-19 health crisis, we ask customers who bring their own bags to please bag their own groceries. Associates will bag groceries for customers using store-provided bags only.

Why are you not allowing the use of reusable bags? Is the store not environmentally friendly
Customers are indeed permitted to bring their own bags, we just ask that they please bag their own groceries during the COVID-19 health emergency. According to the CDC, current evidence suggests that COVID-19 may remain viable on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Therefore, in an abundance of caution for the safety of our associates, we have informed our cashiers to only bag orders using store-provided plastic or paper bags. We will also assist with bagging in reusable bags purchased at the time of checkout.

Can I purchase a new reusable bag?

Reusable bags are currently for sale. If you purchase a new, reusable bag, we will be happy to assist you with bagging.

What about the plastic bag bans in certain states/counties?
 Many plastic bag bans have been temporarily put on hold during the pandemic. The health crisis takes precedence at this time, which is why we are choosing to bag groceries in plastic bags.

I clean my bags. Can I use them?
Following CDC guidance, for the safety of our associates, our cashiers will bag orders only in store-provided bags. If you wish to bring reusable bags in the store, we ask that you please bag your own order.

Do you have any guidelines for cleaning reusable bags?
Yes. Guidance for cleaning reusable bags can be found on ShopRite.com and thefreshgrocer.com.

Refunds and Returns

Q: When do you think you will lift some of the other practices put in place such as no returns?”
A: We will continue to follow the direction and executive orders put in place by state and local government. In the case of the New Jersey “no returns” policy, that requirement is part of an executive order put in place by Governor Murphy. It will remain in place until 30 days after the executive order is rescinded, per the Governor’s direction.

For stores in New Jersey ONLY:
To help protect the health and safety of our associates and customers, we have temporarily suspended our refund and return policy — all sales are final. We are unable to accept returns on items purchased during the state of emergency unless they are defective, damaged or spoiled. Please make your purchases carefully and only buy what you need. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Please click here for more details.

For stores in CT, DE, MD, PA and NY:
Effective 9/20, all our stores in CT, DE, MD, PA, and NY are back to their “normal” Refund/Return policy.

ShopRite from Home PickUp/Delivery

The demand for our online shopping service has skyrocketed during the pandemic and we’ve added capacity to our ShopRite from Home service.

Click here for more ShopRite from Home information.

General

What is the Coronavirus?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to a worldwide pandemic and outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. The virus was first detected in China and has been found in locations around the world, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory distress. A novel coronavirus/COVID-19 is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

On March 11, the WHO characterized the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. A pandemic is defined simply as a global outbreak of a disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. Coronaviruses are found in different animals such as camels, cattle, cats and bats; some coronaviruses can be transmitted between animals and people. As a result of the spread of COVID-19, many state governments and U.S. cities have ordered residents to stay home and shelter in place.

Many state and local governments have also ordered non-essential businesses to close in order to slow the spread (also referred to as “flattening the curve”) of the virus. Many schools across the country have closed, additionally, community and sporting events, parades, and many other social events have been canceled. Local and federal officials are instructing people to implement social distancing by staying at least six feet apart. Supermarkets, considered an essential service, remain open to the public.

How is COVID-19 transmitted?
It is thought that the virus is spread mainly person-to-person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Some international destinations now have apparent community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19, as do some parts of the United States. Community spread means some people have been infected and it is not known how or where they became exposed.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
According to the CDC, symptoms include an upper respiratory-tract illness with cough, shortness of breath and fever. It is believed that symptoms appear within 2-14 days after exposure.

How can I reduce my risk of catching COVID-19?
The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Stay home if possible.
  • Keep away from people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or disinfecting wipe.
  • Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet apart.

How are your stores responding to COVID-19?
Like every company around the world, particularly those accessible to the public, we are carefully monitoring the situation and working with our stores to make sure they have updated response plans. We are also closely following all CDC alerts and recommendations and taking all the necessary steps to prepare and educate associates in our warehouses, offices and at our retail locations.

The safety of customers and associates is always our highest priority, and we remain vigilant in enforcing established proper food-handling, hand-washing and hygiene practices, while promoting social distancing in our stores. It is important to know that we are taking the necessary steps to keep our stores a safe place to work and shop. Our stores maintain and will continue to consistently apply our cleaning and disinfection guidelines to mitigate the risk of the virus. For more information regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, refer to the following resources:

For more information regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, refer to the following resources:

Employment Opportunities

Are your stores hiring additional workers?
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing an unprecedented increase in consumer demand and volume at our supermarkets and we are looking to fill a variety of positions across our stores and warehouses. We recognize that during these challenging times, our stores can play a role in providing job opportunities for individuals who may be displaced from their current place of employment. Our goal is to keep our stores fully staffed so that we can continue to provide the best possible customer service to shoppers and support our communities during this difficult period.

Individuals interested in joining our team are encouraged to visit:
ShopRite Career CenterPrice Rite Marketplace Career CenterThe Fresh Grocer Career CenterDearborn MarketGourmet Garage or Wakefern Careers