COVID-19 AND FOOD SAFETY FAQ
Is coronavirus a concern with takeout?
CDC, FDA and USDA are not aware of any reports at this time that suggests COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. Current evidence shows the biggest risk of transmission of COVID-19 is being around infected individuals who are symptomatic (and to a lesser extent- infected but not showing symptoms). Food businesses should be following employee health policies and health department recommendations to keep these individuals at home.
What are the risks of food from takeout or drive-thru food?
There is no current indication that takeout or drive through meals will increase illness. This option is a good risk management choice, especially for high risk and elderly groups because it helps maintain social distancing and reduces the number of touch points.
Can I get COVID-19 from touching food or packaging exposed to Coronavirus?
The risk of transfer of viruses is very low based on current research
To further minimize risk, handling food packaging should be followed by handwashing and/or using hand sanitizer.
What are the risks of food delivered at home?
Similar to takeout, food delivery helps maintain social distancing and reduces the number of touch points between preparation and serving of food. Many delivery programs have also instituted no touch/ no interaction options, which further reduced risk.
What happens in your body if you do ingest Coronavirus through food?
If you consume food that is contaminated with Coronavirus, your stomach acid should inactivate the virus since it is very acidic (pH 2.0). Even if your stomach acid did not inactivate the virus, there is no evidence the virus causing COVID-19 can start infecting through the gastrointestinal tract. The only possible way to get sick is if, during eating, the virus comes in contact with a specific type of respiratory cells. The scenario is highly unlikely and not concerning given what is known about the modes of transmission currently discussed regarding COVID-19.
Samantha Finch is a graduate of Pace University with a MA in Media Communications and Journalism and a minor in Photography. She has been photographing across the Hudson Valley since 2007, telling the stories of the amazing residents and business owners of our Rivertowns.