At a time of nationwide lockdown, when multinational companies and several businesses have shifted to a work-from-home scenario to adhere to social distancing norms, there are chefs in restaurant kitchens, workers at factory facilities and delivery partners on the road who are working round-the-clock to bring you fresh meals and daily groceries to your doorstep.
And, while we are immensely thankful to them for their services, it's a tad surprising (and annoying) when myths and rumours floating around on the internet and on our chatting windows that home-delivery of items spread COVID-19 and that you can become sick from eating takeout foods.
The short answer to the above unverified claims is a big NO. Let us explain why while we also bust myths around food and home-delivery in this article. Read on.
Myth 1: Takeout food is unsafe & can spread Coronavirus
Fact: According to the experts at the Food and Drug Administration, there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted via food, including takeout.
Here's what the agency website reads - "Unlike foodborne gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often makes people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission."
Besides, food is not inhaled into respiratory tracts. So, any virus that is present will instantly be inactivated because of the high levels of acid in our stomach.
So, if you were worried about getting your favourite pizza home-delivered, you can trust this information and place that order already.
Myth 2: Social distancing gets affected while taking the order
Fact: With No-Contact Delivery and online payment options available, you don’t have to worry about getting in physical contact with anyone. Just ask your delivery partner to leave your order outside and avail online payment to confirm the order.
Having said that, there are of ways to safely get the order inside your home and minimize the risk to contracting germs.
● Firstly, take the delivery bag and place it in your kitchen sink. Make sure you don’t let the delivery bag touch anything else.
● Secondly, take the meal out of the container and put it on your plate. Dispose off the container immediately. And, make sure to disinfect and sanitise your kitchen sink later.
● Heat the dish for 1-2 minutes
● Thirdly and most importantly, wash your hands before and after your meal, at least for 20 seconds.
Myth 3: Non-veg food causes coronavirus
Fact: We have kept the most ridiculous of the lot at the last. Circling back to our first fact in the article which says that the virus isn’t food-borne, it invariably applies to meat as well.
GSG Ayyangar, the chief of the Food Safety and Standards Association India (FSSAI) has made it clear that COVID-19 does not spread through chicken, mutton or fish. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cooking kills most of the harmful microbes present in all sorts of meat.
So, if you were planning to order yourself a meaty meal to cheer you up during self-quarantine, go ahead with it. And, if you were planning to cook a non-vegetarian meal but were worried about the delivery of raw meat, you can place the order. Just make sure to cook it thoroughly, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds regularly, always handle the raw meat with gloves and disinfect your cooking tops.
Summing up, online delivery of food items or takeaway food do not spread the virus. But, neglecting social distancing and accidentally get in close contact with an infected person does. So, stay home, stay safe and order yourself a hot meal.