Food Delivery Is a Beautiful Thing. Here’s How to Do It Safely.

Restaurant workers are pros at handling food properly. Here’s how to follow their lead and support their businesses.

Sara Austin
Elemental
Published in
4 min readApr 2, 2020

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Photo: Johannes Eisele/Getty Images

II never thought it possible I’d get tired of pasta, but the coronavirus outbreak is an era of many firsts. After feeding four people three meals a day for two Covid-19-avoiding weeks, my heart flipped when I discovered our local taco joint was still open for delivery. So how to get my Lucharitos fix, show some love to the restaurant industry, and remain socially distant? Here’s what infectious disease and food safety specialists say they’re doing around takeout and food delivery.

Consider your personal risk. If you’re over age 65, immunocompromised, have a serious chronic medical condition or are experiencing flu-like symptoms, avoid having food delivered if possible since it puts you in contact with other people, says Tim Lahey, PhD, an infectious disease physician and the director of clinical ethics at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Curbside pickup at a grocery store (by you or a less vulnerable friend) is perhaps the smartest way to get food, he adds. But for those not at high risk for severe coronavirus, most experts say that both delivery and takeout are safe and may even be a smart move for your mental…

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Sara Austin
Elemental

Sara Austin is a writer and editor in New York. She has held senior editorial positions at Real Simple, Cosmopolitan, Self, and Marie Claire.