Fact Finders: Delivery or Take-Out? Food Safety & COVID-19

Fact Finders: Food Options & COVID-19

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As we head into the weekend, you may want to cut back on the cooking and support local businesses.

While restaurants have been ordered to suspend dine-in services amid the coronavirus outbreak, many have made the switch to take-out, delivery or curbside service. Pima County officials said the economic impact of these actions directly affects 34,000 people working in this industry, which represents about 14% of all jobs in the county.

According to the county, the change from dining in to take-out has not changed any of the Health Department’s food safety regulations for restaurants and food businesses. The establishments are all held to the same standards, and inspectors are still performing routine and educational inspections.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports there is currently no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19, though you should always wash your hands before and after eating or handling food.

Takeout or Drive-Thru Food

  • There is no current indication that takeout or drive-thru meals will increase illness.
  • This option is a good risk management choice, especially for high-risk and elderly groups, because it helps maintain social distancing, and reduces the number things multiple people touch.

Delivery to Home

  • Maintains social distancing and reduces the number of touch points between preparation and serving of food.
  • Many delivery programs have instituted no touch/no interaction options, which further reduces risk.

Food Packaging

  • The risk of transfer of viruses from touching food packaging is very low
  • To further minimize risk, wash your hands and/or using hand sanitizer after handling food packaging. Washing hands before eating is always recommended.

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