COVID-19 Punches Local Businesses, but Residents Can Help with Takeout

Article is from ROI.NJ.com March 20, 2020

People have been encouraged to order takeout in an effort to aid local businesses. It’s a good thing for the economy, we’re told.

But, is it safe?

Dr. Henry Fraimow, an infectious disease specialist at Cooper University Health Care, says it is.

“We know that the risk of contracting coronavirus through food is incredibly low,” Fraimow said in a release. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

Fraimow said the risk of contracting anything from the packaging is low.

However, he said it is a good idea to wash your hands after opening food containers the same way you should after unpacking groceries from the supermarket or items from a pharmacy.

“While the virus that causes COVID-19, like many viruses, including the common cold and seasonal influenza, can survive on surfaces or objects for a period, most experts consider person-to-person contact as the main form of transmission,” Fraimow said. “People shouldn’t be overly worried about this. Even so, as a measure of precaution, it is important to wash your hands, utensils and surfaces often just as a matter of routine.”

Similarly, food service workers should always follow safe food handling procedures, including cleaning food preparation surfaces frequently, Fraimow said. This is good practice to avoid cross food contamination, not just during periods of infectious disease outbreaks, he said.

The CDC said it is not necessary for food service workers who are well to wear facemasks. Facemasks should only be used by health workers and people who are taking care of someone with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility) or by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

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