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How to Safely Order Takeout During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Admin 4 years ago 737 lượt xem

Officials at the FDA say there's no known risk that COVID-19 transmits through food, but one food scientist clarifies how you can still make delivery much safer.

    Officials at the FDA say there's no known risk that COVID-19 transmits through food, but one food scientist clarifies how you can still make delivery much safer.

    • Leading experts at the FDA say there are no known risks or evidence that suggests that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging.
    • The more apparent risk with food delivery and takeout is face to face contact with couriers or restaurant staff.
    • There are a few ways you can reduce this risk and still safely enjoy your favorite meals.

    How to safely order delivery ?

    For safety purposes, it's best to avoid direct contact with delivery personnel. Many delivery services have already rolled out new features to make the delivery process much safer, with clear options for "contactless" delivery. If you're calling a local restaurant to arrange delivery, ask them up front to keep your delivery contactless if possible, simply allowing the courier to leave your meal on your doorstep, front porch, or within your building's lobby. You can leave a tip for service within your delivery app, or place some cash in an envelope wedged in your doorframe or on a doormat if possible.

    The bag the food is delivered in should be your concern, since the virus that causes COVID-19 can reportedly survive for 24 hours on paper or cardboard, as well as 72 hours on plastic. So it's best to assume the worst when handling packaging, even though Dr. Schaffner says the risk of transmission this way is quite low. Here's what you can do to minimize the risk of coming into contact with germs:

    1. Place the delivery bag in your sink. Don't let it sit directly on other counter spaces in your kitchen or in the home. You can sanitize or disinfect your sink after the meal is over, and after you've thrown the delivery bag into the trash or recycling, along with any containers.
    2. Plate your food, or transfer it to another clean container in your kitchen. Be sure to avoid touching the food directly; use a clean utensil instead. Don't put any plastic, paper, or cardboard containers in your cupboard or your fridge, as it's unclear if cold temperatures can neutralize the virus currently.
    3. Wash your hands! You'll need to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before you sit down to eat your meal. At some point, you should also wipe down your sink with a disinfecting wipe.

    Tips for picking food up at a takeout window or drive-thru.

    Businesses are trying their best to keep the need for human interaction at a minimum, so you shouldn't worry too much about quickly grabbing a packed meal. Schaffner again stresses taking a few precautions to minimizing your direct contact with the packaging itself.

    1. Try to maintain as much distance as you can between yourself and anyone else. This includes the personnel working the takeout window, or any customers waiting in line. Experts at Johns Hopkins University suggest a distance of at least six feet if possible to best reduce any risk of COVID-19 transmission.
    2. Wear gloves. Since you won't be able to wash your hands immediately, wearing gloves is a good way to avoid touching contaminated surfaces while you are outside. If you are in a car, placing your order on the floor (or a surface that no one will directly touch) is best. If you're not equipped with gloves, you can use hand sanitizer to hold you over until you reach a sink.
    3. Use contactless payment if possible. Some debit or credit cards come equipped with capabilities that make it easy to "tap" to pay at a terminal, and services like Apple Pay or Google Pay allow you to simply wave your phone to pay your bill. This allows you to avoid having to hand over a physical credit or debit card, which is susceptible to germs. If you have exact cash, lay it on the takeout counter or pass it in a manner that allows you to avoid touching hands directly.
    4. Wash your hands! Do this when you get home, and follow the same set of instructions about properly disposing of takeout materials. It's tedious, yes, but it's these kinds of measured extra steps that will help keep your whole family safe.