6 Essential Precautions for Takeout, Grocery, and Food Delivery During COVID-19

Check out these 6 essential precautions you need to take when ordering takeout or delivery from a restaurant, or when getting a delivery from your local big box
Delivery woman holding packages in medical rubber gloves and mask. Online shopping. Quarantine.

With the constraints in lockdown being milder than in the previous phases, people have resumed ordering food, groceries and other necessities online. Several e-commerce websites and applications like Door Dash and Postmates have also placed their delivery services back in full swing. However, with the likelihood that distribution workers could be at risk of contracting COVID-19, customers are now in a sticky situation.

To order or not to order—that’s the question. Luckily, the answer is yes, you may! However, certain measures must be strictly followed to ensure that your goods shipped are safe. Scientists have yet to find any proof of COVID-19 being transmitted by food and this has been verified by the WHO. However, the infection can spread across packets, containers and grocery stores as the virus can live on these surfaces for a long time.

Here are 6 safety tips you need to keep in mind while ordering from your favorite restaurant:

1. Check the hygiene rating

Almost all food delivery services have a safety level badge or a restaurant hygiene rating on their list. Make sure you order only from a location with a safety badge or the appropriate hygiene certificates, even if your favourite food is not included in the list. Ensure that the app you are purchasing takes all safety protocols for their delivery staff.

2. Contactless Delivery

The contactless delivery option has been available in most food delivery apps since the lockdown process began. It is recommended that both the delivery driver and the customer strictly abide by all of its requirements.

Always make sure that you’ve opted for contactless delivery when ordering online.

In most situations, the delivery driver leaves food packets or supermarket packages outside the entrance, ringing a bell to warn the customer.

Some apartment complexes also forbid drivers from accessing the main gate, allowing tenants to collect their packages from the front office.

Paying online for your order is the only safe way to avoid contamination at the moment since a cash exchange has a high risk of spreading the virus.

3. Discard the package

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the virus would live on cardboard surfaces for up to 24 hours and about 2-3 days on plastics.

Eating directly from the take-out parcel can seem tempting, particularly to avoid creating a pile of dishes in your kitchen sink, but it is recommended that you discard all the boxes, foils and packets once the food is delivered. Immediately move the food to a clean plate or cup.

An extra precaution would be to eat with your own spoons and forks. If necessary, opt-out of getting any cutlery with your food and, if you do, remove it immediately.

For food products, move the contents of a cereal box or packet of salt to a clean glass/plastic container at home and discard the package.

Wash the outer surface thoroughly with lukewarm water for raw vegetables before keeping them inside your refrigerator.

4. Wash your hands

This is probably the simplest but most effective way to hold Coronavirus at bay. Wash your hands directly after opening a shipment or food parcel. Don’t sneak a bite with your hands unwashed, no matter how tempting it may be.

It is encouraged to wash with an antibacterial hand soap vigorously with water for 20 seconds. A simple way to keep a track of time is to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice in your head when you’re washing.

Before you have washed your hands, be mindful of touching your face, nose, or eyes. You touch these areas more than you realize!

5. Disinfect the Tabletop

Choose a dedicated location to keep your packages in place before throwing away the package.

Once the package is discarded in a dry waste container, sanitize your tabletop or surface with a disinfectant. Always remember to wash your hands after that!

6. Heat Your Food

Coronaviruses are easily killed or deactivated by fire, as per WHO, and are thus susceptible to normal cooking temperatures such at 70°C. It is also often recommended that you reheat your food before you consume, to reduce any potential risks of developing a viral infection.

Refrigerated leftovers must always be reheated before they are consumed.

Food should not be kept in the refrigerator for more than three days. Anything older than that needs to be discarded immediately.

Try to follow the tips listed above diligently and keep yourself and your surroundings as clean as possible. That way, you can protect yourself from COVID-19 and enjoy delicious food. While you are at it, be sure to be on the lookout for Door Dash Coupons and vouchers to save on your online shopping. These can be found on the Door Dash website or through Slickdeals.net. Slickdeals offers deals, coupons, promo codes, and discounts. You can also set up deal alerts to get notified of the latest deals. They also have an app so you can get deals at your fingertips. They have a Slickdeals browser extension that auto applies coupons for you.

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