Staying in but taking out? Follow these tips to help minimize contamination risk with takeout or delivered foods. Even if your food or containers aren’t infected with the coronavirus, eating food that hasn’t been prepared or transported properly can put you at risk of weakening your immune system.
- Stick with restaurants you know and trust. Look up a restaurant’s previous health inspection rating/report to get an idea of how seriously it takes hygiene and safety.
- Make sure food is fresh. Ask when the food was made. Eating food that has been sitting out for a while increases your risk of food-borne illness.
- Avoid physical contact when picking up takeout or choose “contactless delivery” methods
- Use gloved hands to handle the food container and/or wipe down the outside of the food container with an alcohol based wipe.
- Transfer food to personal container or dish as soon as possible. Dispose of all packaging and wipe down any surfaces the packaging came into contact.
- Do not eat directly from take out containers.
- Toss out any loose disposable cutlery or napkins that have been included with the order. Better yet, give specific instructions to the restaurant not to include these things. Use your own silverware and napkins.
- Order hot foods – and keep them hot by reheating at home.
- Store leftovers in refrigerator or freezer, do not leave on counter.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before eating.
- Prioritize cooking at home. This is the safest and often healthier option.
By Shelly Guzman Johnson, MS, RD, CSSD, CD PRO Medical Registered Dietitian