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Coronavirus outbreak means Costco shoppers can say goodbye to free samples

Evie Fordham

The coronavirus outbreak that's spread to at least 25 states now means that Costco customers can say goodbye to free food samples while shopping, according to media reports.

"Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, there are no food product samples," a Costco representative in Nashville, Tennessee, told NBC's Today.

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Costco's decision comes after Trader Joe's changed how its employees distribute food samples to customers, according to an internal memo leaked on Thursday. The memo tells employees to plate samples for customers individually instead of keeping pre-plated samples on a platter, according to Business Insider.

Roslyn Stone, chief operating officer of Zero Hour Health, advises restaurants and other businesses on keeping customers and employees healthy.

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"There's no reason to discontinue samples if you're following good food safety practices," Stone told FOX Business.

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Shoppers should be careful when they take samples all the time and not because of the recent coronavirus outbreak, Stone said. She said to make sure the employee handing you a sample has gloves and access to hand sanitizer or a sink.

FOX Business' inquiry to Costco was not immediately returned.

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