May 14, 2020 How-To

Food Safety in the Age of Coronavirus

The news that the coronavirus can live on surfaces has many people worried about food safety. While experts say there is no reason to think the virus can be spread by food, that doesn’t mean that you can forgo basic food safety habits.

A few rules to eat by

Pandemic or not, you should always handle and prepare food safely. That means you should:

  • Clean and disinfect countertops and other surfaces in your kitchen before and after cooking.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling food, and after wiping countertops and other surfaces with chemicals.
  • Wash fresh produce before eating, even if you plan to remove the skin.
  • Separate raw meat, poultry, and fish from other foods.
  • Cook foods to the proper temperatures.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours – or within one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees.

When you wash your hands, use soap and water. And scrub for at least 20 seconds to be sure they’re clean.

Lastly, don’t share your food, drinks, or utensils with others.

Ordering in?

While food isn’t likely to spread the virus, being around other people can. Now may be a good time to use to-go options or have your groceries delivered, especially if you have a compromised immune system. And many restaurants are offering takeout and delivery, even if their dining rooms are closed.

To help protect yourself and others when ordering food for takeout or delivery:

  • Stay at least six feet from others whenever you can.
  • If possible, pay for your food online or over the phone to help minimize contact.
  • Ask the delivery person to leave your packages at the door or on the porch.
  • Don’t eat out of takeout containers. Serve the food on your own dishes, and use your own utensils.
  • Throw away all bags and packaging, and wash your hands well after handling them.

Remember, healthy eating helps your immune system stay strong. So continue to make healthy choices about what to order and put on your plates.

Looking for ways to eat healthy while staying at home? Check this out.

Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

David Filkins
About the Author

David joined CDPHP in April 2016 and is the chief writer and creative lead. He writes and edits content and develops messaging and strategy to support internal and external communications. David has won multiple national awards as a newspaper reporter and served as a publicist for everything from small nonprofits to global brands. He graduated from the University at Albany with a degree in philosophy. In his spare time, David enjoys the outdoors, reading, cooking, live music, Boston Celtics basketball, spending time with his children, David and Daisy, and searching for exciting and unusual experiences with uncertain outcomes.

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