Are you tired of frozen food? Have you lost your will to do kitchen chores? Do you feel guilty that some restaurant employees are bracing for layoffs? These are just a few reasons why some may choose to order takeout from a local restaurant during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Luckily, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health experts agree that ordering takeout is considered relatively safe. Contracting coronavirus through packaging or through food itself is deemed unlikely. According to the CDC, there is currently no evidence supporting a connection between the spread of COVID-19 and food.
However, that doesn’t mean we should avoid taking safety measures. While you are probably more likely to catch COVID-19 by being around an infected person, it is still possible to contract coronavirus by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Research has found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can survive on plastic surfaces for two to three days and cardboard surfaces for up to 24 hours. With this in mind, we’ve compiled some essential tips for erring on the side of caution while ordering restaurant delivery during this pandemic.
Be mindful of where you order, and what food you consume
It’s better to order from restaurants you already trust. If you have reason to doubt the hygiene practices of a particular establishment for any reason, like a questionable dining space or prior sickness after eating their food, then you don’t need that place in your life anymore. Especially not during a pandemic.
On a positive note, ordering takeout for the sake of variety or taking a break from cooking can be an excellent form of self-care. Just make sure, in addition to being cautious of where you place an order, that you keep in mind healthy eating habits as well.
Part of ensuring your safety can include taking steps to safeguard your emotional well-being. These steps may be especially necessary during this time when we face an increased amount of stress. To avoid overeating, which is associated with increased anxiety levels, you can save some of the food you ordered for later and keep your portions moderate.
Opt for an in-house delivery option when possible
It’s good news that some popular third-party food delivery services (like Postmates) have introduced no-contact delivery. However, it’s unfortunately necessary to consider that ordering through outside services may introduce an extra person touching the food packaging and leaving your delivery more exposed.
Plus, these third-party services can seriously slash profits for local restaurants. Currently, merely four delivery apps control 98% of all restaurant sales. This monopoly might explain why delivery apps get away with charging restaurants sky-high commissions.
Engage in a contactless delivery
To ensure that you do not accidentally break social distancing guidelines, opt for a contactless delivery experience, which often means that there will be a curbside drop off for your food. Usually you can do this by selecting the contactless delivery option through the delivery app of your choice, or by calling the restaurant directly to ask if they offer a curbside drop off. It is unnecessary to interact with the courier directly.
Additionally, to avoid that in-person interaction, make sure that you leave your tip online. If online tipping is not an option, you could instead leave a cash tip within an envelope outside. Of course, if you can, make an effort to tip generously during this shutdown!
Be careful with your food’s environment and packaging
Food packaging from restaurant takeout should be disposed of appropriately before you eat or refrigerate your food; you can do this while wearing gloves. Once you’ve washed your hands thoroughly after disposing of the packaging, you can then clean the surfaces where your food was unpacked. Wash your hands again before eating for good measure.
Follow normal food sharing guidelines
Lastly, make sure to follow standard Food and Drug Administration sharing suggestions, which include not sharing utensils and refrigerating any leftovers within two hours. By following these guidelines, you will be incurring less risks when ordering takeout, and you’ll be able to enjoy your meal with peace of mind.
Have a tip or story? Get in touch with our reporters at t[email protected]