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Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide

In the United States, different states and municipalities are under widely varying restrictions to guard against the spread of coronavirus. Where I live, restaurants are open, but only for takeout, drive-through, and delivery, which cuts down on the number of people exposed to each other, but raises questions about the safety and desirability of restaurant food. Should you get takeout food or not?

Like many densely populated metropolitan areas, the Bay Area is now on complete lockdown. All non-essential businesses are closed, gatherings of large groups of people are banned, and residents have been told to leave their houses only if necessary. Among the businesses still running—at least in limited capacity—are supermarkets and restaurants, the latter of which are solely allowed to operate as take-out and delivery venues. I expect more cities will follow suit in the coming days and weeks.

Even so, plenty of folks—myself included—have been confused or curious about the safety of allowing restaurants to continue preparing and serving food. Is it actually safe? Should I reheat the food when I get it home? Is it better to support local businesses by ordering food, or am I only putting workers and delivery people at risk? And if I’m cooking my own food, what guidelines should I follow?

J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats answers all these questions with references to scientific studies, and also questions about grocery shopping and handling food at home. After all, we still gotta eat!  -via Metafilter

(Image credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture)


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