Is it safe to eat food prepared by others?

Yes, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food or food packaging.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, although the coronavirus can survive on some surfaces for a few hours to a few days, there have been no known cases of COVID-19 to date that spread through food or food packaging. 

The disease is a respiratory illness that spreads through "person-to-person contact and through direct contact with respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes." 

The federal government says it's still important to practice good hygiene while handling or preparing food, including washing hands, regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, cooking meat thoroughly and avoiding cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods. 

When it comes to handling pickup or delivery orders, experts say the chances of transmitting the disease are low but it's still important to take precautions. 

Many restaurants are offering curbside pickup so that you don't have to go inside, and if you do visit a local coffee shop to pick up a treat, stay two metres away from anyone you encounter. Some have circles to mark the appropriate distance, and many are encouraging customers to use contactless payment like tap or by paying online in advance. 

If you are getting your food delivered, make sure to practice social distancing with the delivery courier. Apps like Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats and Door Dash have implemented contactless delivery options where you can instruct the driver where to leave your food. 

"Food delivery is fine," says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer. "If people want to be completely safe, precautions they can take if they get food delivered is to, when they get the food, they can put it into their own dishes or onto their own plates and dispose of the packages they came in and wash their hands thoroughly before they eat."

If you're still concerned about ordering in, you could also call ahead and ask the restaurant about their policy on sick employees


Published By:
Emily Rendell-Watson

Emily Rendell-Watson

Monday, April 27, 2020

Updated
by Karen Unland

Tagged:

safety, restaurants

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For the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, see edmonton.ca/covid19, alberta.ca/covid19, canada.ca/covid19, and the World Health Organization.