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Is Restaurant Takeout Safe During the CoronaVirus Epidemic? YES!

By Genpak Product Managers
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Restaurant Delivery Person Holding Takeout“Is takeout and delivery from restaurants safe?” That’s what’s on the mind of many Americans as more states are taking precautions and prohibiting any restaurants, bars, and cafes from serving food or drink on premises.

In order to make up for lost business and keep profits in the black, many restaurants and food establishments have begun offering takeout and delivery services for local customers. But with growing concern over the spread of COVID-19, many Americans are questioning if ordering takeout or delivery is safe. Below, we breakdown the facts from government agencies and tips for limiting your exposure when ordering food.

Is it safe to order takeout or delivery from restaurants?

Yes! The CDC, FDA, and USDA have all stated they are not aware of any reports suggesting COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging.

According to the CDC, the biggest risk of transmission of the Coronavirus is through breathing respiratory droplets of a symptomatic person. Surface-to-surface transmission–like handling takeout containers–is thought to be very low. The risk of contracting the virus through consuming food is also minimal, as viruses are susceptible to heat and cooked food would have inactivated or killed the virus.

Therefore, as long as food businesses are following employee health policies and local health department recommendations to keep infected individuals home (which almost all of them have stated they are), your risk of contracting coronavirus through takeout and delivery from restaurants is extremely low.

How to Safely Order Takeout and Delivery During COVID-19

Although the risk of contracting coronavirus through food or food packaging is low, whether you order takeout or delivery, there are still a few practices to keep in mind to ensure you are limiting any potential exposure to COVID-19.

Tips for Limiting Exposure During Restaurant Takeout

  • Call ahead and pay for your order over the phone, or order online, to limit personal interaction during payment processing.
  • If the restaurant allows it, order curbside pickup option so you do not have to go and wait inside.
  • If you must pick up your order inside, maintain six feet of distance between you, other customers, and the restaurant workers.
  • Wash or your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after leaving the restaurant.
  • Once home, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after handling any food packages from the outside.
  • Disinfect any surfaces the food containers touched.

Tips for Limiting Exposure with Restaurant Deliveries

  • Avoid face to face interaction with deliverers. Request deliveries to be left on doorstep. (Many big food delivery companies have already adopted a no touch/no interaction policy).
  • Add a tip ahead of time over the phone or leave it on your doorstep in an envelope to avoid interaction.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after handling any food packages from the outside.
  • Disinfect any surfaces the food containers touched.

Support Your Local Restaurants with Takeout and Delivery!

Now more than ever, it’s important to support your local restaurants, cafes, and eateries by ordering takeout and delivery, so they can support themselves, their staff, and have the funds to reopen at full capacity when the COVID-19 Epidemic is over!