Food & Wine

Can you get coronavirus from takeaway food?

Can you get coronavirus from takeaway food?

As coronavirus continues its rapid spread across the world, many are being advised to practice social distancing. This means gatherings of people are limited to a specific number, and it also means no hanging out with your friends at restaurants.

Home delivery has therefore become more popular, with many getting takeaway or ordering supplies to their door.

However, the rise in home deliveries has led to concerns as to whether or not coronavirus can be contracted from touching packages.

Experts in the US and the UK are adamant that having items delivered is a low-risk activity.

"It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food," reports the UK's National Health System website's coronavirus page.

Dr. Ian Williams, chief of the Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention echoed the sentiment in a recent information webinar.

"There is no evidence out there that, so far with [Covid-19], that it's foodborne-driven or food service-driven," Williams said.

"This really is respiratory, person-to-person. At this point there is no evidence really pointing us towards food [or] food service as ways that are driving the epidemic."

Delivery services such as UberEats have adapted to the threat of coronavirus and offer options such as having deliveries left in a designated area. Companies are also practicing social distancing amongst delivery partners.

However, some companies are taking the initiative to close as countries escalate their lockdowns worldwide, including McDonalds.

Here are a few things to be mindful of while ordering packages or deliveries to your door.

Practice social distancing

Social distancing involves minimising contact with people and keeping a distance of over one metre between you and others. You should avoid public transport and limit non-essential traveling during this time. This includes contact with your delivery driver.

Wash your hands

As soon as you’ve brought the package inside, wash your hands immediately. If you’ve ordered food, wash your hands before and after eating.

Put the packaging in the rubbish ASAP

Although there is little evidence that supports the notion that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food and packaging, coming into contact with any surface that carries the virus can put you at risk.

For your safety, throw away the packaging your delivery comes in and wash your hands straight after.

With food deliveries, use your own plates and cutlery instead of eating right out of the container it came in. It’s also good practice to disinfect your countertops and tables before eating.