Since the outbreak of the second wave of novel Corona Virus, all businesses whether large setup or a small startup, have been affected badly. Especially, food lovers have now become more concerned about the potential risks of virus transmission through online food delivery or order takeout. Leading FDA experts say there is no evidence found that COVID-19 transmits through food or food packaging. Yes, you can still practice the necessary guidelines or SOPs to make your food delivery or order takeout much safer!
Donald Schaffner, Ph.D., a food science extension specialist and a professor at Rutgers University’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, verify that there is no evidence found that the disease can be transmitted through contaminated food but it can be due to proximity with an infected person. Especially, if an infected person sneezes on a surface, you touch that surface with your finger, and then touch your nose with that finger, then the virus can begin to infect you that transmits through your nose. That is why it is very important to wash your hands first before contacting with food, regardless, it is made in your kitchen or order from any outside eatery.
As per the guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA, here are the following ways you can adopt to reduce or minimize spreading coronavirus risk and safely enjoy your favorite meals through order takeout or food delivery:
How to Safely Order Food Delivery:
The first thing which is most important to consider for safe food delivery is to avoid direct contact with the delivery boy. Many eateries have already introduced a new feature of “Contactless Delivery” to make the food delivery process much safer. And if you are ordering food from any local restaurant, then you can request them to keep your food delivery contactless by allowing them to leave your meal at your doorstep and placing cash on your doormat, if possible.
Not only this, once the food is delivered to your place safely, your big concern should be a food bag on which the food delivered-in. As the COVID-19 virus survives for 24 hours on paper or cardboard and 72 hours on plastic. Therefore, it is best to take the following precautionary measures when handling packaging:
- Place the delivery bag in your sink.
Try to sanitize or disinfect the bag first by putting it into your sink. Don’t let this bag place directly on your dining table or kitchen counter for serving. After the meal is over and you have thrown the delivery bag into the bin or trash, then sanitize and disinfect your sink once again.
- Plate your food in another clean container in your kitchen.
Do not touch the food directly; instead, use a clean sterilized utensil. Also, do not put any paper, cardboard, or plastic containers in your fridge because it is unclear if the cold temperature can neutralize the virus.
- Wash your hands!
Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds is the most important factor that needs to consider before you sit down for having a meal.
Like other eateries, Foodies Café in Orlando has also taken safety measures in its food delivery services to provide customers with safe and healthy food. It involves food delivery in food graded packaging while ensuring that delivery personnel must have worn masks and gloves, etc.
How to Safely Pickup Food at a Takeout Window or Drive-Thru:
Another way that businesses have adopted to keep the need for human interaction at a minimum is by picking up the food at a takeout window or drive-thru. Following tips you need to adopt to minimize your direct contact with the food packaging:
- Maintain a Social Distance:
Try to maintain a social distance as much as you can with personnel serving on the takeout window or any other customers waiting in line. Experts suggest that if possible, one needs to make at least six feet distance to best reduced the transmission risk of COVID-19.
- Wear Gloves or Use Sanitizer:
Since you cannot wash your hands all the time, especially when you’re outside and in contact with any person or surface, wearing gloves is the best way to avoid touching contaminated surfaces. If in case you’re not equipped with gloves, then keep a disinfectant hand sanitizer with you all the time to keep you safe until you reach home and wash your hands.
- Use Contactless Payment if possible.
It is always best to make a contactless payment, if possible. Even some debit or credit cards have a provision to tap to pay at the terminal. Similarly, Google Pay or Apple Pay alike services allow you to simply wave your phone to make payment to avoid direct contact with germs that are susceptible to hand over a physical debit or credit card. Also, if you cannot opt for both options, then make a cash payment on the takeout counter in a way that you can’t touch your hands directly.
- Wash your hands!
When you get home, don’t forget to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and follow the same tips or instructions about disposing of takeout materials properly.
By adopting all these tips and tricks regularly, you can keep yourself, your family, as well as people in your surroundings safe and secure.