Safe, Smart, Healthy Habits to Remember when Ordering Delivery or Carryout

One obstacle that individuals are facing during social distancing is how to feed themselves safely. For many, the idea of cooking every single day is daunting. While curb-side restaurants and delivery services are still available, I wanted to share some tips on how to remain safe, smart, and healthy while ordering take-out and curbside.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) FAQ section reassures that it cannot be passed through food: “Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.” That said, we do know the virus can still live temporarily on commonly touched surfaces. According to a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, this is how long the virus appears to be able to survive on respective surfaces:

        • In the air — 3 hours

        • On copper — 4 hours

        • On cardboard — 24 hours

        • On stainless steel — 48 hours

        • On plastic — 72 hours

With these findings in mind, follow extra safe and sanitary precautions when ordering in:

  1. Avoid ordering in altogether if you or any family/housemates are sick, exhibiting symptoms, elderly, or more at risk for contracting COVID-19.

  2. Avoid touching public surfaces (like door handles) by choosing curb-side pickup only. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately following a pickup exchange, and avoid touching your face before sanitizing hands.

  3. When possible, choose contact-free delivery options when ordering in. Many food delivery services are giving members a no-contact drop-off option, where couriers will leave orders on the doorstep and let customers know they’ve done so. If you're ordering in directly from a restaurant, give the courier special instructions to leave your order at the door.

  4. Leave cardboard boxes and packaging outside for 24 hours—or, even better, immediately take them out to the recycling.

  5. Transfer food to your own clean dishes and cutlery to serve and eat, and immediately throw out/recycle all containers and packaging.

  6. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after eating.

  7. Disinfect the surfaces in your home that come in contact with any delivery bags, containers, etc.

*This list is not meant to frighten you, but it is meant to show you how to be as safe as possible while venturing out to curbside services.*