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How to Safely Order Take-Out Food During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has complicated many daily tasks for the majority of people around the world. Many people are now working from home, when possible. Schools are employing distance learning techniques. But one of the most pressing concerns for the majority of individuals is securing food in a time when quarantines or social distancing measures are in effect. One big question is:

How safe is it to pick up prepared food or have it delivered to your home?

Here’s what you need to know about take-out food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What Do the Experts Say?

Currently, the Food & Drug Administration has indicated that there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal viruses, COVID-19 is a virus that causes respiratory illness, meaning foodborne exposure to the virus is not known to be a route of transmission.

What Are the Pertinent Transmission Facts?

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person, generally between individuals in close contact (within six feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching the surface of an object that has the virus on it and then touching their face, nose, or mouth.

How Do These Facts Affect Food Delivery?

For prepared food delivery, it is still a good idea to limit contact with the delivery person. Many take-out restaurants and grocery delivery services have indicated a willingness to leave the items at the door and walk away prior to the customer retrieving the food packages.

What about Picking Up Food?

Food establishments have varied procedures for food pick-up. Try to take advantage of the places that offer the least amount of person-to-person contact. Also, monitor your proximity to other customers while picking up food. Restaurants are concerned about transmission, too, so many have implemented policies limiting how many people are allowed inside at a time, requiring the sanitization of pens between customer uses, and requiring prepayment over the phone or online to minimize hand-to-hand contact.

What about Surface Contacts?

The CDC has indicated that the virus has poor survivability on surfaces, meaning that there is low risk of spread from food products or packaging that is shipped over a period of days or weeks. For recently prepared food, however, it would be prudent to wash your hands thoroughly after handling and disposing of the packaging.

Additional safety may be ensured by transferring food to your own dishes and reheating hot food in the microwave before consuming. Just remember to give your hands a final wash before eating.

As of now, there are no known transmissions of COVID-19 occurring from a food delivery. When taking the proper precautions, ordering delivery of prepared food can be perfectly safe.

How to Safely Order Take Out During Coronavirus

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