Is It Safe to Bring Food to People During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
From groceries to goodies, find out if you should be dropping items off for others to enjoy.
If you're anything like us, you're seeking additional ways to stay connected as we approach one full month of social distancing. There are few sweeter ways to show someone you're thinking about them than a doorstep delivery of some of your therapy baking treats or a bubbly casserole of lasagna. And a grocery drop-off for a friend or family member who has their hands full with homeschooling or isolating because he or she is immunocompromised can totally save the day for someone in need of a refrigerator Rx.
But before you grab your keys, it's worth considering the latest government safety recommendations about what's considered safe and what's not during the coronavirus pandemic.
The CDC and the FDA both confirm that there are no known cases of coronavirus that can be traced back to food-related transmission. The primary way it's believed to spread is from person to person through respiratory droplets.
Just like takeout or grocery delivery, the food and drink you're delivering should be safe for the recipient to consume as long as it was prepared under sanitary conditions and using proper food safety protocol.
To ensure your doorstep or porch delivery is as safe as possible, follow these steps:
- Call, text or email ahead to ensure the recipient is home and interested in receiving a delivery.
- Disinfect all surfaces you plan to touch as you prepare or shop for the items.
- Wash your hands before and after prepping or shopping for food.
- Wear a cloth face mask any time you're out in public (shopping, delivering, etc.).
- Include instructions about reheating and storage, if needed.
- Alert the recipient once you've made the drop off and are more than six feet away from the delivery point, so they can come retrieve the items and transfer them to a location with food-safe storage temperature. (No one wants a casserole chilling in the "danger zone" out on the front steps for a few hours!)
It should go without saying, but don't bring anyone food or prepare food for others if you feel sick yourself. Once you arrive home, wash your hands once more, then give yourself a clean pat on the back for a generous job well done. And if anyone is kind enough to bring food to you, be sure to wash your hands before you dig in.
The situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to change quickly; it's possible that information or data has changed since publication. While EatingWell is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations by using the CDC, WHO, and their local public health department as resources.