Thoughts About Safe Delivery (and Takeout)

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My takeout bounty from Nari. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

I know we’re all mulling about the safety of ordering takeout versus having food delivered, people are getting upset if their delivery person isn’t wearing gloves, we’re washing our hands like maniacs (good!)…we’re all trying to control our exposure, but imagine how these delivery folks are feeling right now. Trust, they want to lower their exposure as much as possible too. Seeing gloves may feel like a visual cue of cleanliness, but sometimes wearing gloves can be less sanitary (people leave them on for too long) versus being bare-handed and washing one’s hands more often/using hand sanitizer. Just something to think about.

I checked in with my badass sister, who is a Family Nurse Practitioner, about what would be best practices for receiving takeout/delivery into your home. The good news is the odds are extremely low for contracting coronavirus through food. But before diving in here, I strongly recommend this recently posted and well-researched piece by J. Kenji López-Alt on Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide—he definitely helped bring my OCD down a notch.

If you’re getting food delivered, you want to opt for no-contact delivery, and have them leave it by your door. (If you’re ordering alcohol, be prepared to have to show your i.d.)

Once you bring the bag inside, whether it’s takeout or delivery, don’t automatically place it on your table or counter! You can either lay down some newspaper or something you were planning to recycle, and put the bag on top of that. Or I just put it on the floor.

Wash your hands. Now’s the time to take the food out of the containers, keeping mindful that that exterior of the container could potentially be contaminated as well, so be sure to place the container on a protected surface area as well. Some folks are cleaning/wiping the outside of the containers. You can open the lid, and then wash your hands again. Take the food out and do what you were going to do with it—plate it, eat it, warm it up, whisper sweet nothings to it.

You can place any leftovers into clean containers of your own. And then wash your hands again before you eat. Don’t touch your face. And give any surface area a good cleaning after you’re all finished. Wash your hands again!

One more thing: if you live in an apartment building, take good care of yourself AND your neighbors! Spray/clean the doorknobs, door buzzers, mailboxes, handrails, and any other high-contact places in your building, daily. Cleanliness is truly next to godliness!

A quick note for restaurants:

Restaurants, please continue to keep an eye on what’s happening with couriers coming to pick up food. Are they crowding anywhere? I’ve been hearing of a few popular places getting pretty tight around pick-up areas. Create a safe and socially distant place for pickups—enforce it, keep cleaning it. Thank you.