People are wondering about safety of food delivery services during coronavirus pandemic
Governments across Canada have temporarily shut down dine-in restaurants to curb the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, meaning a major uptick in people turning to food delivery services during self isolation.
But as the hungry quarantined population become more reliant on apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, F.O.D. and grocery services, the worry on everyone's mind remains: Can you catch coronavirus through food delivery?
According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA): "There is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of COVID-19."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agrees, stating that coronaviruses have "poor survivability" on most surfaces, like those used for food delivery
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"...there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures."
While the CDC says it's possible someone can catch COVID-19 by touching something that has a virus on it, then touching their own face, "this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads."
The more serious risk is person-to-person spread, more specifically through respiratory droplets, which can be transmitted through coughing or other forms of direct contact between customers and delivery people.
To reduce that risk, food delivery apps are offering a contactless drop-off feature.
Users can now request that their food be left at their doorstep—rather than meeting their delivery people at the door—by leaving a special request in the delivery instructions, or through a direct prompt, when offered on apps like Postmates.
Checking your app of choice to see what measures they've taken to mitigate risk is also a good idea. Most companies have waived delivery fees completely, and services like Uber Eats and DoorDash are providing their drivers with tools like hand santizer and gloves.
Of course, the usual rules should still apply, contactless delivery or not: wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face after bringing your food inside.
It's also safest to eat off your own plate rather than directly from the container. As per CDC food safety procedure, you should refrigerate your leftovers within two hours, and disinfect your tables and counters prior to and after eating.
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