The emergence of coronavirus has meant new habits for every aspect of daily life. From wearing masks in public to staying six feet away from others when possible, mostly these changes aren’t too hard. They certainly don’t have to mean the end of doing things you love, including getting meals from favorite restaurants. Just keep in mind these four safety principles for ordering food safely during this pandemic.
Take Advantage of Curbside Pickup
Sitting down in a favorite restaurant may not be the best option. The more surfaces and people one exposes themselves to, the greater the chance of picking up coronavirus. Restaurants understand this risk and have adapted to make sure their customers can still enjoy their offerings. For example, lonaslileats.com and other restaurants offer curbside pickup for customers. The process is simple: call an order in and then drive to the restaurant and park in a designated spot. The restaurant staff will bring the order out, and in most cases, place it in the vehicle through a window for a contact-free experience.
Assume All Packaging Has Been Contaminated
While restaurants are doing as much as possible to eliminate the risk of coronavirus to customers, it’s best to assume that all packing has been contaminated. Assuming this, food ordered from a restaurant should be taken straight into the home and placed in a sink that’s easy to disinfect. Remove all outer packaging and immediately throw it away, making sure not to let it touch other surfaces. Use a clean utensil to remove the food from the main packaging, and place it on a clean plate. Be sure not to touch the food with your bare hands or let it touch the outside of the packaging it came in. Toss the main packaging, again making sure not to touch it to other surfaces. But don’t dig in just yet.
Wash Your Hands
Even before coronavirus, washing hands before a meal was important in preventing food-borne illness. This safety principle is even more essential now. Before eating, wash your hands correctly. According to the CDC, this means using soap and scrubbing hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. Counting slowly works, as does humming the tune to the “Happy Birthday” song twice. After rinsing in clean water, dry hands with a clean towel or disposable paper towel, or air dry. After washing, make sure not to touch any surfaces before eating. At the very least, make sure not to touch your food or your mouth while eating.
Sanitize Your Space
After a great takeout meal, Good Housekeeping suggests one last step: sanitizing the sink and counters. Wipe down all surfaces the takeout containers touched. Use a kitchen cleaner that contains bleach, or a solution of five tablespoons of bleach to a gallon of water. This will kill not only coronavirus germs that may have been transferred into the home, but other common germs as well.
These safety principles are ones that can be used for any curbside pickup and for deliveries. They can also be helpful for other situations, including grocery delivery, medication pickup, package delivery, etc. Making them a habit can help prevent the spread of coronavirus and other illnesses, including the common cold and influenza.