Ever since the news of a suspected quarantine or lockdown situation started, everyone has been stocking up on a lot of food so that they don't go hungry. Another set of people are stocked up, but prefer ordering in instead - for as long as they are allowed to.
Since the lockdown was announced a lot of people are wondering whether food services are operational - they are! But, is it safe to order in?
Can The Food Infect Me?
So far, experts have said there isn’t any reason to believe the coronavirus can be spread through food. As of now, there’s no evidence of COVID-19 transmission through food.
“We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging,” a spokesperson from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a statement.
Since there’s no known transmission of COVID-19 through food, you don’t need to worry about avoiding any foods in particular. But, a bigger concern when you order is the risk of coronavirus transmission from person to person.
Can I Get Infected By Taking The Order?
If someone coughed on a plastic container or spoon, the virus could stay active for up to a couple of days. Take precautions like wearing gloves to open takeout containers, letting boxes of fresh groceries sit for a day or so before reaching for them, and using your own cutlery as opposed to the plastic cutlery that may have been tossed into a bag.
Also, use online payment options over cash on delivery so that you can have a no-contact delivery. A lot of outlets have introduced this option if you pay online - the delivery person drops off your package and then steps away and makes sure you receive it without contact.
Make Sure Your Food Is Good Quality
When food is at room temperature, it's likely to have more bacterial growth because that is the ideal temperature for bacteria to thrive in. Exposing yourself to bacteria can weaken your immune system, and that can make you be more at risk. So if your food has reached room temperature - try to reheat it to kill the bacterial growth.
Another important thing to remember is that if you are set to eat meat - ake sure it has been cooked properly and is not raw or uncooked.
Try Cooking Your Own Food
The above precautions aside, cooking in is ultimately the safest option. The virus doesn't spread through food, but the person who delivers it can have the virus and pass it on.
While restaurants are taking extra precautions, that may not always be the case. So avoidance is the best option, but if you cannot avoid it - precautions are the next best option.