Once-bustling food enterprises lay idle as personnel and management adjust to the new reality of the industry as a
result of the COVID-19 epidemic.As we stay at home to protect our first responders and key employees from the virus, many of us have resorted to
delivery services for meals, possibly for the first time. In these trying times, the hospitality business has changed to make it easy for everyone
to support a beloved local restaurant, avoid going out, and just obtain a soothing relief.
Many of us, understandably, have concerns about the safety of our food. When ordering food for delivery or takeout, keep these safety guidelines in mind. These rules also apply to meal kit delivery, which several restaurants now provide.
Many of us, understandably, have concerns about the safety of our food. When ordering food for delivery or takeout, keep these safety guidelines in mind. These rules also apply to grocery and meal kit delivery, which several restaurants now provide.
“There is no indication of food or food packaging being connected with the transmission of COVID-19,” according
to the FDA. The best advice is to follow basic food handling procedures, which includes frequently washing your hands, something we should
all be used to by now. When dealing with groceries or meal kits, clean all of the food, separate meats, eggs, and dairy from other
ingredients; cook the food to the right temperature (including reheating leftovers to 165 degrees F); and refrigerate and store the food
Food is unlikely to be contaminated during preparation or packing at a food service business or processing facility. “Most operations, especially larger chains, are very vigilant about the safety and health of their employees and customers because they are closely working with state and local health officials during the pandemic,” said Professor Patrick Beach, who heads the Hospitality and Foodservice Management department at William Rainey Harper College in suburban Chicago
Gloves, for example, were once only necessary when handling ready-to-eat food, but now they are used throughout the whole process, from preparation to packaging to delivery.
Because of how COVID-19 spreads, the greatest risk of infection might occur through intimate contact with others. Many restaurants
now enable guests to pay in advance, either via phone or online, reducing the need for physical cash transfers or credit card processing, both
of which might carry the virus.Choose contactless curbside pickup over the drive-through window when picking up food. Many businesses are
already providing this service as a means of safeguarding their staff and consumers. Follow the fundamental measures advised in a public
space whenever utilizing the drive-through window: If at all possible, cover your face and use gloves, and make the encounter brief. As
soon as possible, wash or sanitize your hands.
When placing an order for delivery, keep in mind that the delivery person's workstation is now the front porch or entryway. Use the contactless delivery option if feasible so that food may be placed at your door, which is a safer alternative for both of you. If contactless delivery is not possible and the order must be received directly, use the same precautions as with the drive-through window.
COVID-19 is especially concerning since it can survive for long periods of time on a variety of surfaces, including the
two most frequent in food delivery: paper bags and cardboard boxes. This graph depicts how long the virus may survive on various surfaces.
The danger of transmission via food packaging, as well as other goods and mail, is extremely low, according to experts at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health and North Carolina State University. This includes condiments such as ketchup and dipping sauce. “They are usually viewed as safe,” Beach says. Commercial condiment packaging and single-use utensils in sealed bags are very sophisticated and safe, likely never coming into contact with human hands until they reach the operation's ultimate delivery point. After that, gloved hands put them in the bag.”
Although the FDA claims there is no proof that food packaging is a transmission point, it is recommended practice to remove the food from the
container, discard the packing, and wash hands thoroughly. Last but not least, clean the area where the bag or container was lying.
Beach advises people to be aware of the chemicals they're using, to utilize them correctly, and to avoid overusing them.
“In the hotel business, for example, with bleach, we talk about a part per million concentration — 50-200 ppm for sanitation. That amounts to a few tablespoons per gallon of water. It's risky to overuse or combines chemicals, especially when they're near food. Before using any cleansers or chemicals, read the label.”
Simple pleasures such as ordering takeaway from a favorite restaurant may satisfy more than just your hunger and, on the whole, maybe totally safe if you follow a few simple guidelines.