Further calls for calm during supermarket shopping

Queenslanders are urged to shop sensibly when buying groceries.

Following restrictions on many grocery items and government warnings about hoarding supplies and social distancing, the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) is calling for Queenslanders to shop sensibly.

DAA President and practising dietitian Tara Diversi said fear about access to food while in self-isolation or an impending lockdown had led to an increase in stockpiling and empty supermarket shelves.

“ Panic buying places a great strain on the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society,” Ms Diversi said.

“It also puts further stress on those required to follow special diets, such as those with coeliac disease, who can only eat gluten-free foods.”

Ms Diversi urged Queenslanders to create a plan for their family if they needed to self-isolate.

“Having a plan means you’re more likely to feel prepared as the situation unfolds and considers the needs of others in the community,” she said.

“Start by assessing what you currently have in your pantry and freezer and make a list of long-lasting foods your household will eat and enjoy and add a few additional items to your regular shop.

“Make sure to consider recipes you can batch cook and freeze to have some readymade meals available.”

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said the major supermarkets were considered essential services and would remain open under any escalation of Federal Government restrictions.

"I would just say to all of our customers, there is no need to surge stock-up," he told ABC's News Breakfast on 27 March.

"We're an essential service and we will be operating under any scenario and actually in the context of the lockdown, if that is where we actually go, it will be easier for us to make sure the products are on shelves.

"So there is no need to panic. All surge demand does is cause a number of issues in our supply chain which leads to the stock-outs we have on our shelves right now. So there is absolutely no need to do it."

Ms Diversi said it was important for people to look out for each other.

“In times like these, it is important we support each other,” Ms Divisi said.

“Keep an eye out on your relatives and neighbours, particularly those who may need support if they were to self-isolate or fall ill.”


Food items to consider:

Fruit: Choose fresh fruit that is likely to last longer, such as citrus fruits, apples and bananas. Frozen fruits, dried fruits (eaten in small amounts) and canned varieties also make good secondary options.  

Vegetables: Choose long-lasting fresh produce such as potatoes, onions, carrots, pumpkin and cabbage. Frozen and canned vegetables are also good alternatives.

Cans of soup

Protein sources:

  • Canned fish (e.g. salmon, tuna or sardines)
  • Legumes (canned or dried)
  • Nuts and seeds (including nut butters)
  • Long-life milk (UHT or powdered milk)

Grains: Look for rice, pasta, quinoa, cous cous, rolled oats and cereals. Freezing bread and wraps can also prolong their freshness and shelf life.

Long-life sauces/herbs and spices: Having a range of herbs and spices on hand can help boost the flavour of foods.

Foods for enjoyment: In times of isolation and uncertainty, having foods that are a source of comfort, or a reminder of daily routine, can be beneficial for your mental health. Some examples to be eaten in small doses include coffee, soft drink and chocolate.

DAA recipes to consider: