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Tips for safely buying takeout food and handling packages

The reliance on takeout and food delivery are increasing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and, while the food supply is safe, there are ways to emphasize food safety from these sources.

“The FDA has stated that the U.S. food supply remains safe for both people and animals. There is no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” said Joell Eifert, director of the Food Innovations Program in the Virginia Tech Department of Food Science and Technology and Extension Specialist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

He listed safe practices for takeout business:

—Pre-pay for your order before delivery to avoid sharing pens or payment equipment;

—Ask for your delivery to be left at the front door to avoid hand-to-hand contact;

—Ensure that you will be available or are notified of your delivery to ensure that perishable items don’t sit out of refrigeration too long;

—When bringing your delivery into the house, place the outer box or bag on a hard surface that can be cleaned and sanitized. Remove the food from the outer box or bag and then immediately discard the outer bag or box;

—Wash your hands before putting food away;—Clean and sanitize the surface that outer boxes or bags touched, and

—Wash your hands before opening, preparing or eating food.