Amid concerns of social distancing and hygiene, a lot of people are unsure of ordering in food, to avoid the risk of exposure to COVID-19. There is currently no evidence of coronavirus being transmitted through food, states World Health Organisation (WHO). People who are getting food packages delivered, however, are advised to take the following precautionary measures:
Contactless delivery: Select the contactless delivery option that food apps are now offering. That way, your food package will be left outside your door without you having to come in contact with the delivery person. And now that the aggregators have disabled the option for cash-on-delivery to avoid physical touch, you need to pay for your order online.
Discard the delivery package: According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the virus can survive for up to 24 hours on cardboards, and for about three days on plastic. Although the risk of transmission from food packaging is likely very low, as per Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is advised that once you receive the food, you should discard the package immediately, including the boxes and foil, and transfer the food on to a clean plate or bowl.
Designate an area for the package: Choose a specific area where you want to keep the food package. Make sure to disinfect the surface where you kept it after discarding the package.
Heat the food: If your food is not hot enough, reheat it just as a precautionary measure. As per WHO, coronaviruses are susceptible to normal cooking temperatures (70 degrees Celsius).
Wash your hands: Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. After discarding the package, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser before eating your food.
What to do with leftovers: You could either scrape the leftovers into a dustbin or refrigerate it. The food should not be stored for more than three days and not reheated more than once. After eating, clean the dishes with detergent and rinse in water. Leave the dishes to air-dry or wipe with a clean dry cloth, as per the WHO Safer Food Manual.
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