There seems to be a lot of confusion about the safety of items that come from outside your home. Here is what we know: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the virus “is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.” It cites two primary forms of transmission: “Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) [and] through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.”
This is why experts recommend social distancing, hand washing, and regularly sanitizing high-touch areas like door handles, tables, chairs, and light switches as the best measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Food Delivery & Takeout
The most important precaution you can take when ordering food delivery, including grocery and liquor deliveries, is to avoid direct contact with couriers. Where possible, choose services that offer contactless delivery; many delivery apps have contactless delivery options built in that also allow you to tip delivery workers. The risk of transmitting the coronavirus via packaging like paper bags, plastic bags, or cardboard boxes is low.
Here are some steps you can take to calm your fears even more:
- Place delivery bags and containers in the sink rather than on table or counter tops.
- Transfer food from takeout containers to a plate.
- Discard all delivery bags, boxes, and takeout containers in the trash or recycling.
- Wash your hands before eating.
- Leftovers should be put in your own food storage containers rather than in takeout containers.
- Clean and sanitize the sink after your meal using a product from the EPA’s list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2.
Again,transmission via food and food packaging is a low risk. In fact, the biggest grocery-related risk is contact with others and with high-touch areas like shopping carts and basket handles, so it is important to practice appropriate social distancing while in the grocery store, to avoid touching your face while shopping, and to wash your hands thoroughly when you return home from the market. The US Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) guidelines on food safety and coronavirus do not include the disinfecting of perishable and non-perishable grocery items.
Mail & Packages
These pose a low risk of transmitting the coronavirus. Also like food packaging and delivery items, you should avoid contact with the person delivering. The CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the Surgeon General, have indicated that there is currently no evidence that Covid-19 is being spread through the mail.