As many countries have closed bars and restaurants to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, dining in them is no longer an option (at least in the short term) for millions of people. Even now, when some of them re-opened.
Numbers illustrate this in the best way – Google recorded an increase in worldwide searches for “delivery”, “food delivery”, “takeaway” and “takeout” by almost 300 % between March and May.
As an alternative, many restaurants still offer a delivery service. So, if you like your favorite pizza (we don’t judge), you can get it at your home address. There’s no doubt that it’s convenient and that it’s definitely easier than cooking three meals a day.
According to the Insider, the pizza we just mentioned turned to be the most-searched food in 55 of the 81 countries for which data was available in the research. Eastern Europe prevailed, with Belarus topping the stats in having most searches for “pizza delivery” per capita.
But, is food delivery safe? Here we’ll share some tips to avoid naughty pathogens after receiving the takeout.
Get To Know The Restaurant
Since every restaurant responds to the influence of COVID-19 in its own way, it’s a good idea to explore the restaurant before ordering. Many restaurants have published news about COVID-19 on their websites and emphasize the measures that are being taken to keep employees and customers safe.
Statistics showed that established brands dominated searches for takeout. So, McDonald’s topped the list for branded food takeout queries. As many as 41 of 81 countries for which data was available searched the California-based burger giant for the delivery.
In addition to adhering to standard hygiene and sanitary regulations, many restaurants have introduced additional safety measures such as those where all employees wear gloves and cleaning the premises every hour.
And, in order for food points to protect the health of the public and take adequate measures, the state and local health institutes give priority to health inspections, and in some places even help restaurants to improve their safety procedures.
Can You Get Covid-19 Through Contaminated Food?
You may be worried that you’ll get the coronavirus through food prepared or brought by someone else who’s ill. But, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), there’s currently no evidence that the virus can be spread through food.
As it was announced back in 2018, respiratory viruses (such as COVID-19) multiply at the level of the respiratory tract – and not the digestive system. In other words, the virus has come in contact with your airways to make you sick, and it can’t do that by eating.
If Possible, Opt For Contactless Delivery
Choose contactless delivery or takeout, which can help both employees and customers be safe as they practice social distancing and reduce the chance of potential transmission of the virus via respiratory droplets.
Some of the restaurants have adopted and organized the best ways to deliver food, which includes leaving it at the doorstep (instead of handing it over), and customers are also encouraged to pay by a card or in advance. Again, you’ll get this information from the restaurant itself. Call it and ask if they have changed anything in the delivery method to reduce the transmission of the virus.
It’s also better to order directly from the restaurant – instead of through a third party – because that can reduce the number of people who’ll come into contact with the food and its packaging. What’s known is that Americans don’t follow this recommendation given that the most popular takeout food apps over the last three months have all been US companies. Some of them, such as Caviar, even saw the biggest increase in search traffic worldwide – by half in March.
Discard The Packaging
According to the CDC, there’s currently no evidence that coronavirus is transmitted by packaging. However, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in March 2020 says that the new coronavirus can be found on plastic surfaces up to 72 hours after the initial contact.
This means that plastic delivery containers can carry corona sprouts. So, discard the package after transferring food to a plate and wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before eating.