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Is it safe to order takeout, delivery during coronavirus pandemic?

There is no evidence that coronavirus (COVID-19) is transmitted by food or food packaging.

Hundreds of Sacramento restaurants were forced to close their doors to dine-in guests in order to temper the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This has put food pick-up and delivery in high demand and left many wondering: Is it safe to order takeout?

“Yes. There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] is transmitted by food or food packaging,” said Dr. Erin DiCaprio, assistant specialist in cooperative extension in community food safety for UC Davis. “The primary mode of transmission of the virus is via respiratory droplet.”

DiCaprio said restaurants should follow their already established food handling practices. She said washing hands and keeping sick individuals from working with food is always important.

“With restaurants going exclusively to take out and delivery, this should minimize person to person transmission,” DiCaprio said. “It may be a good idea to increase cleaning and sanitizing of common touch surfaces such as doorknobs.”

As for what people can do to protect themselves once their food arrives?

“Wash your hands before you eat. It is always what you should do,” she said.

Read more about coronavirus from ABC10:

Coronavirus background

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

The CDC also says facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of the virus. If you’re not sick, you do not have to wear a facemask. The CDC says the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low.


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