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How to Safely Order Takeout During the Coronavirus Outbreak

There’s no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through food or food packaging, as is stated by the Food and Drug Administration: “Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness,” the agency’s website reads. “Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.”‘

The overwhelming evidence shows that COVID-19 is transmitted from being in close contact with an infectious person, particularly one who is sneezing or coughing, or by cross contamination from a surface that has been touched by an infected person.

As a result, many restaurants have offered a “contactless” delivery system, meaning that they drop your food off at your doorstep, limiting any potential exposure. The bag the food comes in presents some risk–though the risk is low.

To cut your transmission risk down, place the plastic bag in a sink and transfer your food out of the containers and onto a plate, being careful not to touch the food while doing so. Afterwards, dispose of the bag and containers and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before eating.

If you are going through a drive-thru or contactless delivery is not available, limit your exposure by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet and wearing gloves to handle payment and the taking the food. Once you get home, dispose of the bags and wash your hands.

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