In the last week, the severity of the Coronavirus in the United States has begun to set in fully. On Friday, President Trump announced a national emergency freeing up billions of dollars of federal money to contain the spread.
Additionally, many cities and states began to implement strict ‘social distancing’ measures to attempt to limit the spread of the deadly virus. Over the weekend, many of the largest cities in the country limited public gatherings of over a few hundred or a few thousand people.
Just today, some of the strictest measures to combat Coronavirus have been implemented in Illinois and Ohio as both state’s Governors announced they would be closing dine-in options at restaurants for at least two weeks. Read more here.
And Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading expert on COVID-19, today called for a 14-day shutdown of all bars and restaurants across the country, but as of now its unclear if the White House will implement this policy nationwide. Expect to see more official or unofficial closures across the country in the following days.
As more and more people adhere to quarantine measures, food delivery demand has risen dramatically. Even before the news that states have begun to close down restaurants, Technomic reported in a survey that ⅓ of Americans currently plan to dine out at restaurants less in favor of staying home while practicing social distancing measures. Given the news today in Illinois and Ohio, expect this number to rise.
To this point, there has been concern amongst the public over the safety of food delivery and whether or not it was a safe option given the concerns over the spread of Coronavirus.
According to both the FDA and the CDC, food delivery remains a safe option since there is no evidence that Coronavirus can be transmitted through food itself or food delivery packaging materials.
According to the FDA, “Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.” And likewise from the CDC, “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety.”
Additionally, food delivery companies have already implemented various measures to ensure the safety of both their couriers and consumers during this crisis. Food delivery remains a very safe option for consumers if they follow these few tips.
- Opt For Contactless Delivery
Last week, most of the major third-party food delivery companies in the US announced they would offer contactless delivery. Selecting this option while ordering food allows a consumer to instruct a food delivery courier to drop off an order either on a porch, at the door, or at any other place without waiting to transfer the package over to a consumer face-to-face.
A Grubhub spokesman explained the new policy stating, “For the safety of you and our drivers, drivers will call/text when they arrive and drop off your order on the doorstep, in the lobby or other area designated by you.”
Limiting face-to-face interactions is the best method to prevent the transmission of Coronavirus.
2. Be Patient with Delivery Drivers
We’re in uncharted waters as a country right now. There is sure to be a tremendous strain on delivery drivers. Be patient and conscious that they are under a lot of strain right now. Avoid confrontation for their sake and to avoid needless face-to-face interaction.
3. Avoid Large Gatherings
Food delivery is indeed an excellent option for a large group gathering. However, it’s recommended that large gatherings be avoided if possible for the time being. Just because you can’t meet up together doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy a food delivery experience with friends. Try hosting a remote dinner. Enjoy a Zoom meal with friends and enjoy the company and convenience of food delivery without the risk of unwanted interactions.
4. Wash Hands Before and After Eating
After picking up the food delivery order, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before eating your meal. In addition, avoid touching your face before washing after picking up your food order. Also, wash hands afterward in an abundance of caution for yourself and others.
Food delivery remains a safe option, and as time moves on, it will become a more and more important method for people practicing social distancing to eat in their homes.