Many challenges have followed the arrival of COVID-19, the issue of acquiring food being one of the largest. The grocery stores have been wiped clean and now some have been left only with the option to “eat out”. Those who have turned to fast food or restaurants might be concerned about the safety and reliability of the service and food. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, has stated there has been no relationship found between the transmission of COVID-19 and food.
When ordering takeout or delivery, it is important to pay attention to potential person-to-person and equipment-to-person transmission of COVID-19.
It is highly emphasized to wear protective gear when leaving the house; this is especially important when coming into contact with the employees at restaurants. When picking up your takeout at a restaurant, ensure you are wearing a medical grade mask and a pair of gloves. If you do not have access to such a mask, the World Health Organization recommends the use of a cloth mask in its place.
The best payment method is online – not in store – if the option is available. This minimizes any contact you may have with the cashier or the surface of the payment terminal. If they do not have a pay online option, use the option to tap your card if using a debit machine. If paying with cash, simply place the money on the counter and do not attempt to place it directly into the cashier’s hand.
Ordering delivery also comes with issues you need to be aware of. The most important is for the delivery to be contactless. Many restaurants have that option available now when ordering your food, but if the option is not available, you are able to request it. Avoiding directly meeting the courier can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The option to pay online is usually available for deliveries as well.
In both cases of takeout and delivery, there are other key steps when preventing cross-contamination. Once you receive your food, it is highly suggested that you discard the packaging and utensils. This is in case there are any traces of the disease on the outside packaging – although it is uncommon, it is best to be safe. It is also important to wash your hands and disinfect the area where you have placed the food/packaging. The most effective steps are included in our food safety courses.
If you are looking to handle or deliver food safely yourself, or you’d like to learn more details on protecting yourself and your loved ones on a daily basis, check out our food handlers certificate course and our food delivery safety course.