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Covid-19: If you are eating in the office cafeteria, then make sure to keep these pointers in mind

Adhering to the guidelines at office cafeterias not only makes the experience safe but also comfortable for the employees

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 23, 2020 3:56:20 pm

Gone are those days when you waited for the lunch break at work to catch up with your colleagues in the cafeteria. Among the many things, the pandemic has put a stop to this activity as well. And with offices slowly resuming, getting back to work after being at home for over six months is no less than an entirely new experience. Thanks to the ‘new normal’.  

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Uttam Kumar, COO at HungerBox, tells theindianexpres.com, “Many office cafeterias are offering pre-packed meals prepared in a safe and hygienic environment, However, every employee should take necessary precautions while eating at office cafeterias.”

Here are some tips suggested by him so you can safely enjoy a meal at work:

Social distancing has to be the norm

Constant focus has been on maintaining social distancing. Ensuring a safe distance from colleagues and cafeteria staff is necessary. “While the food itself is not a source of contamination owing to best-in-class safety and hygiene practices implemented in cafeterias while preparing it, proximity to others is a cause for concern,” he says.  

The virus spreads through respiratory droplets, hence a minimum distance of three-six feet should be maintained between two individuals. “Some office cafeterias are supported by technology which provides real-time updates of the distance maintained between employees and staff, and this allows cafeterias to better manage safety, and users are alerted in case of a breach in protocol,” he adds.

Avoid contact with surfaces

“It is vital to avoid direct contact with any surface, particularly those that are frequently touched. Although touchpoints are regularly sanitized and disinfected, it is still better to avoid touching them, and immediately washing or sanitizing hands in case of contact, to alleviate any risk of contamination,” says Kumar. 

Also, after using plates, salt and pepper shakers, cutlery, or napkins, avoid touching yourself or others unless you have sanitised properly. “Employees should also ensure that paper napkins are discarded safely by throwing them into closed trashcans,” suggests Kumar.

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Modify your diet

A robust immune system helps stay healthy and keep illnesses away. “It is important to be cautious about what’s on your plate and ensure your diet is nutritious and well-balanced. Increasing your intake of immunity-boosting foods used in traditional Indian cooking such as ginger, lime, garlic, and turmeric, and consuming more fruits that are rich in vitamins and minerals will work wonders,” shares Kumar

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Follow safety protocols

Adhering to company guidelines at office cafeterias not only make the experience safe but comfortable too. “Some companies have even come up with carefully designed protocols such as time slots for employees to enter cafeterias. Simple measures such as sitting diagonally from each other will improve safety. It is highly recommended that every employee follows the rules and takes simple measures to eliminate any risk, not just in the current scenario, but in the future as well” adds Kumar. 

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