Grocery Stores and Farmers’ Markets

COVID Safe Practices for All Grocery Stores & Farmer's Markets

Before COVID-19, grocery store and farmers’ market employees kept these establishments clean and food safe for customers. They are doing the same now, plus enhanced work practices recommended by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.


  • Adhere to Required COVID-Safe Practices for All Employers.
  • Adhere to Required COVID-Safe Practices for Retail Establishments.
  • Adhere to maximum occupancy limits per the State’s Public Health Order.
  • If food service is provided onsite, adhere to COVID-Safe Practices for Restaurants
  • Discontinue service stations that require customers to congregate in certain areas or use common utensils/dispensers, including food samples, bulk bins, beverage stations, etc.

  • Prohibit the refilling of customer-supplied, reusable containers (e.g. coffee cups and water bottles).

  • Require customers who bring reusable bags to bag their own purchases.

  • Clean and sanitize equipment, including pallet jacks, ladders and supply carts, between each use.

  • For deliveries:
    • Temporarily suspend truck drivers from entering the sales floor unless as a customer or to use the restroom.
    • Arrange for contactless signatures for deliveries.
    • Expand store delivery times to spread out deliveries and prevent overcrowding.
    • Vendors required to enter the business must follow employee protocols for personal protective equipment and social distancing.

Additional Requirements for Farmers’ Markets

  • Farmers, vendors, market staff and volunteers must wear food grade gloves, with frequent changes between customers or when they become soiled or contaminated.
  • Increase the numbers of hand-washing stations available within the market, along with signage to encourage customers to frequently wash their hands.

  • Require farmers to bring hand-washing supplies and hand sanitizers, for frequent use within their own booth space.

  • Restrict customers from touching any produce or products until after they have purchased.

  • Configure stands so that customers will request products and staff will bag produce.

  • Suspend cooking demonstrations and sampling.

  • Suspend social programs and remove seating areas that promote customers to congregate in the market.

Best Practices

  • To the maximum extent possible, pre-package produce and other such products to avoid excess handling by customers and employees.
  • When scheduling staff to cover shifts, consider additional breaks to provide for frequent handwashing, more frequent and longer timeframes to sanitize equipment, etc.
  • Install large plexiglass sneeze guards at cash registers wherever possible.
  • Arrange for contactless payment and receipt options to the greatest extent possible.
  • Screen employees and customers with a no-contact thermometer; individuals with a temperature reading above 100.4°F should be denied entry. 

Additional Resources

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