Fighting COVID-19: Is it safe now to get food delivered home?

Should you cook at home, or order in? The lockdown has complicated this everyday question.
Fighting COVID-19: Is it safe now to get food delivered home?
Fighting COVID-19: Is it safe now to get food delivered home?
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As soon as the Coronavirus lockdown was announced, people across the country prepared themselves to carefully practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible. Surely, you have seen by now how social distancing changes the rhythm of normal life. For instance, the daily question of what to eat has added on a new, more complicated layer - is it safe to order-in food?

Regular access to well-cooked food is essential during a lockdown, but restrictions on supermarket timings and long queues make it difficult to rely completely on cooking at home. And you’ve still got to eat and feed your family.

Not to worry. It is possible and safe to get food delivered home during lockdown as well.

Like Jodie Dionne-Odom, M.D., assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Division of Infectious Diseases says, “There is no evidence out there, so far with [COVID-19], that it’s foodborne-driven or food service-driven. This really is respiratory, person-to-person. At this point, there is no evidence really pointing us toward food [or] food service as ways that are driving the epidemic.”

So all you have to do is take a few extra precautions at your end.

Maintain social distancing with delivery partners through contactless delivery

Food delivery services offer a “contactless delivery” option. When you choose it, your delivery partner will leave the food at your door, and you can pick it up once he leaves. This way, you can maintain social distancing.

Pay for your food online

Paying by cash increases the risk of transmission. Set up UPI, Netbanking, or Payment wallets on your food delivery apps, so you can pay for your delivery online and further prevent any interpersonal contact. You can even tip the delivery executive via the online payment options.

Transfer the food into clean vessels and dispose of the packaging

The packaging your food comes in needs to be thrown away carefully.

It’s important to avoid contact with any contamination, so to eat worry-free, you just need to take some extra precautions when it comes to the food packaging.

The bags, boxes, and foil that are used to pack the food are not essential. These should be thrown away immediately. Treat it like dry waste and take it out to the nearest garbage bin where it can be picked up.

To prevent contamination of your food, wipe the plastic containers with sanitizer or disinfectant before opening the lids. Then transfer the food into washed and sanitized home vessels, and dispose of the plastic containers.

Don’t forget to wash your hands after bringing the food into your house, and again after throwing away the packaging and containers.

Consume your food carefully

If the food isn’t piping hot, pop it in the microwave or reheat it on the stove before eating, to make sure it’s safe. Use clean utensils and cutlery, and wash any uncooked food like raw fruits and vegetables before eating.

Finally, always wash your hands thoroughly with a good antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds before you eat. This is the most important step.

Lockdown doesn't mean you cannot order from your favourite restaurant nearby. Take precautions. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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