How long does it take a store to restock its shelves on products coming by ship container or airlift?
Stores can restock overnight if the products are available in the CDCs. Currently our availability rates for CDCs in the Pacific are 94 percent and for Europe CDCs, 95 percent. We are monitoring our items sales daily and fully prepared to airlift product if quantities run low prior to the next scheduled shipment. Product airlifted averages seven to nine days from the time the order is transmitted until it is received at our CDC. Orders being shipped via vessel to the Pacific average 21-25 days and to Europe in 14 days.
How safe is the food supply?
There is no evidence that the coronavirus can spread through food, so that is not a concern. Regardless of the threat, DeCA is always on guard to protect the food on commissary shelves. It is important for our valued authorized patrons to know that the sources of the product sold in the commissaries go through an extensive assessment process conducted by food safety experts in the Army Veterinary Corps before they are deemed as an approved source. We have military veterinarians and store food safety specialists inspecting food sources, deliveries and products on the shelves to help ensure they're free of potential contaminants.
There are concerns that commissaries will run out of food or deliveries will cease because of the coronavirus. What is DeCA doing to keep its stores supplied?
Our Industry partners are assisting us daily in procuring and preparing items for shipments to Japan, Korea, and Europe via air and sealift. We are increasing deliveries to our overseas commissaries, including shipments of high demand items such as hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes. We have airlifted multiple shipments to the Pacific on high-demand items to
supplement the stock in our central distribution centers (CDC) and support to our stores. We continue to fully support all commissaries impacted by this crisis and will maintain this support to ensure product availability.
What precautions is DeCA taking to help safeguard customers and employees?
The Defense Commissary Agency adheres to the highest standards of DOD health protection in our stores. We are always vigilant to ensure our workforce follows the strictest precautionary measures including routine hand washing and other basic sanitation measures to avoid spreading germs. Our stores will continue to undergo daily sanitizing, disinfecting and cleaning. These routine measures should keep the virus from spreading and help keep customers and employees from getting sick.