Coronavirus pandemic has created a rather different way of doing things. The world is getting used to a different life with people remembering to follow the social distancing and sanitation norms around the world. The food industry is also limping back to normal by adapting to the set up. It often comes to the mind that how safe are takeaways and supermarket deliveries? How risky are these options in the present times is what we need to know.
Many local restaurants have reinvented themselves as takeaways. Evidence does not suggest that COVID-19 can be spread via food or food packaging. Well, the risk is minimal if the food is freshly prepared and hygienically packed.
Restaurants are doing only takeaways and there are some that are open for drive-through purchases. Pizzas and burgers can be enjoyed but only as takeaways or home deliveries by partner players like Zomato.
On one hand where restaurants are resorting to takeaways, they are also leading to long traffic queues.
In other countries, Deliveroo and Just Eat have issued guidance on how their riders can stay safe and make food deliveries without touching restaurant packaging.
Another question that arises is that should you eat with your hand from a takeaway delivery package. Ideally, you should not. The contents of the pack must be emptied into a clean dish, dispose of the packaging and wash hands thoroughly before you start eating.
Prof Sally Bloomfield, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine says, "Take food out of a container with a spoon and eat it with a knife and fork - not your fingers."
Seeing the present scenario, it is better to order freshly cooked food, rather than cold or raw items. For the most cautious and vulnerable though, careful preparation and cooking may be reassuring. Prof Bloomfield adds that in order to be doubly sure, you can pop in the food into a microwave for a couple of minutes.
Home delivery vs supermarket trip
Home delivery is better than a supermarket visit because that way you will avoid other shoppers as coronavirus spreads through contaminated surfaces.
About food purchased from the supermarket, Prof Bloomfield says, "For contained or packaged goods, either store them for 72 hours before using them - or spray and wipe plastic or glass containers with bleach. For unwrapped fresh goods, which could have been handled by anyone - wash thoroughly under running water and leave to dry."
If you still visit the supermarket
Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets, packed with the virus, into the air. These can cause an infection if they are breathed in, or potentially if you touch a surface they have landed on.
So going shopping and mixing with other people does carry a risk. That is why social distancing has to be maintained. Keep at least 2m (about 6ft) distance from others.
Wash your hands regularly and do not touch your face with your hands. Wear a mask at all times and do not touch surfaces unnecessarily and if you do; sanitize your hands.