Food Delivery and Take-Out Safety

You want to support your local restaurants and businesses, but you also want to make sure you are safe when ordering take-out and delivery food during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some guidelines and suggestions for keeping safe that you can follow when you order take-out or bring any type of food into your house.

Note: According to the CDC, “Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.” As more information becomes available, we will keep updating this page.


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1. Know Where Your Food Comes From

The advantage of patronizing a local business is that you often know more about them and their practices. Many restaurants are emailing and posting details about how they are taking extra precautions right now. Many are also offering “no-contact delivery”—leaving the food on your doorstep. If you don’t know their practices, you might call them up before placing your order and asking what they are doing to deter the spread of the coronavirus during food preparation and handling.

2. Delivery and Pick-Up Options

Ideally, you should opt for “no-contact” delivery whenever possible. Also, if possible, order directly from the restaurant instead of a third-party service. In many cases, this is beneficial for the restaurant in terms of lower fees and it also means potentially fewer people handling your order. If you opt for pick-up, find out if they have drive-through or curbside pick-up options.

You should also be sure to wear gloves and a mask when you pick up your order. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing your face mask. Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask.

3. Safe Handling

Once you have your order (either from your doorstep or if you picked it up yourself), remove the outer bag (outside, if possible) and throw away or recycle. Take out the containers of food and transfer them to your own dishes or containers. Be careful not to let the exterior of the containers touch your food. Dispose of the containers and then wash your hands and countertops or any other surfaces that came into contact with the containers or packaging.

4. Keeping Clean

As always, be sure to wash your hands before and after eating and cleaning up. Even if you wear gloves, you should wash your hands after taking off the gloves. Use disinfectant wipes or spray (follow package directions) to clean your countertops. It is usually suggested that the surface be visibly wet for a period of time and that you let the product air dry on the surface.

Stay safe and healthy!