Food delivery services, whether from your grocery store or a local restaurant, are in high demand now. But, given the COVID-19 pandemic, these services also carry a bit of concern.
There’s good news, though. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no evidence has been found linking food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. Nonetheless, the FDA reminds us that we all need to adopt safe food-handling practices every day to avoid a foodborne illness.
Lets take a look at the “Core Four” practices:
- CLEAN: This means washing your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food, using the bathroom, handling pets, changing diapers. Don’t forget to:
- Clean your cutting boards, counter tops, dishes, with hot soapy water. Use clean towels that have been laundered in hot water or, better yet, paper towels.
- Wash fresh fruits and vegetables under running water and scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush.
- Rinse the lids of canned goods prior to opening, to avoid contaminants reaching the product.
- SEPARATE: Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from your other groceries and in your refrigerator.
Use a separate cutting board for fresh produce and another for raw meats. Don’t cross-contaminate!
- COOK: Heat foods to the correct, safe, internal temperature, and check by using a food thermometer. Don’t rely on color or texture for doneness.
- CHILL: Don’t leave foods on the counter to thaw, and refrigerate foods promptly. If the outside temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above, refrigerate food within an hour. And, don’t let cooked food items stay out more than two hours.
So, whether you are preparing a meal at home or having it delivered to your front door, it is important to follow all of the safe food handling guidelines everyday, now and even after COVID-19!
There are a lot of great resources to help guide you on how to handle food safety, including:
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- FightBac, a non-profit, health-oriented organization
- foodsafety.gov, featuring food safety information from government agencies