How to Stay Safe When Ordering Take Out During COVID-19
by Joanne Troppello
The Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic is wreaking havoc across the globe. It’s affecting people physically, with massive global fatalities and causing economic hardships.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released their guidance for restaurants and event planners that in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the next 15 days, people should limit contact with others in groups no larger than 10.
This has caused issues for restaurants. They need to stay open to make money. However, they want to limit the spread of the Corona Virus as well and most want to abide by the CDC guidelines for such venues.
New cases of COVID-19 have been reported and confirmed each day, which have triggered states and municipalities to set restrictions on these businesses. On Monday, 3/16, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that all bars and restaurants in NY, NJ, and CT will close down Monday night.
Take Precautions When Ordering Take-Out
My family lives in a rural area in Pennsylvania. The schools and many of the churches have closed down for the unforeseen future. Some of the restaurants have closed down to take precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19.
However, some places are still open. After my husband came home from work today, we drove to the local dairy farm and their store was still open. We were able to buy a gallon of chocolate ice cream.
It was so surreal. Usually, that place is packed as soon as it opens for the Spring season. Most people are obviously staying home. I needed a break (I work from home and had to get out for some fresh air), so we went for a drive in the country and decided to get some ice cream.
The three employees working at the counters were wearing gloves and the dining area was closed. Again, it is still so surreal. I have never experienced anything like this. Before I digress too much down the rabbit hole, here are some tips on staying safe when ordering take out.
Maintain a 6 Foot Distance
In a recent article from Eater, Michael Knight, assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, said, “It’s the people, not the food, that is the issue.” According to the CDC COVID-19 guidelines, you should maintain a distance of 6 feet from others to decrease the spread of the Corona Virus.
Social Distancing – Make sure you maintain a 6 foot distance from others if you opt for picking up your to-go order from the restaurant.
Drop Off Delivery – For those who are immuno-compromised and more at risk for getting COVID-19, it’s better to ask for your order to be delivered at the door without contact. Food ordering apps like Uber Eats and Grubhub are offering no-contact deliveries. Pay through the app and food is delivered and placed at your door.
Surface Disinfection – The CDC explains that COVID-19 can be spread if a person touches a contaminated hard surface and then touches their own eyes, mouth, or nose. It can be spread from person-to-person contact, as well as from coughs and sneezes. For enhanced protection, wear gloves when carrying the food package or bag and remove the food then throw away the packaging. Make sure to disinfect any surfaces like countertops or tables that the food packaging touched. According to CDC researchers, this virus can remain viable on hard surfaces for several hours to days, and remain in the air for approximately three hours.
Wash Hands – Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands after handling any of the food packaging before eating and prior to touching your face etc.
Immune Health – It is important to maintain a healthy immune system; especially during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read one of my recent posts about boosting your immune system to protect from the Corona Virus.
Not Sharing is Caring – We teach our young children that sharing is caring. However, especially in these current days, not sharing is caring. Even if you or your loved ones don’t have COVID-19, it’s still a good idea not to use the same utensils or drink from the same cup or bottle. It’s possible that the COVID-19 virus will not be evident for up to 14 days after someone was exposed to it.
Reheat Food - Consider reheating the food in the microwave after it is delivered to kill any bacteria. According to Food Borne Illness, "Hot foods must be kept hot and cold foods must be kept cold. There is only a two hour limit for leaving perishable food out at room temperature. Regarding takeout, the two hour countdown starts when the food begins to drop below a temp of 140 degrees F, which is typically during the car ride to your house."
We need to work together and use common sense. Don’t panic. Stay focused on following the daily guidelines issued from the White House by the CDC and the Trump Administration and we can increase our chances of surviving COVID-19 and lessening the devastating health and economic effects of this Corona Virus.
Have you been ordering take-out for pick-up or at home deliveries from local restaurants? How has your experience been?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, SEO and social media, travel and lifestyle, website content, recommendations for apps, and content for blogs. Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect on Twitter. Read more about Mustard Seed Sentinel here.