Is it safe to order take-out during the pandemic?

The biggest concern remains person-to-person contact. Contactless delivery, in which the order is left outside the recipient’s door, reduces that risk.

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Food Distribution Site Set Up In Hialeah Gardens, Florida

City workers and volunteers place items of food into vehicles during a food distribution setup at Hialeah Gardens High School on April 22, 2020 in Hialeah Gardens, Florida. The food distribution was put on by Farm Share and members of the citys government to help people trying to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Is it safe to order food via take-out or delivery?

Unlike some germs, there’s no indication the coronavirus can spread through food, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“This is a respiratory virus, not a foodborne virus ... you can’t catch it from eating food,” says Michelle Danyluk at the University of Florida, which published tips on food safety amid the pandemic.

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The biggest concern remains person-to-person contact. Contactless delivery, in which the order is left outside the recipient’s door, reduces that risk.

For take-out, the FDA advises restaurant workers and customers to stay at least six feet from others.

The risk from packaging is “likely very low,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To be safe, Danyluk advises hand washing before and after touching food or packaging.

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