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Is it safe to order takeaway food?

In the COVID-19 climate, there are lots of questions surrounding what we are and aren’t able to do. How far can we drive? Are haircuts ok? If a wedding happens the same time as a funeral can you invite five people or ten?


But a question which is practical for the vast majority of Australians is: can we still order takeaway food? Is it safe, or are we going to get COVID-19 from a box of pizza or a plastic tub of butter chicken?

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Our very own lead physician and medical director, Dr Andrew Bradbeer, has recently discussed this question in one of our weekly Q&A videos and according to him, the risk is very low.


The only real risk is if someone working in the premises (or indeed the delivery driver if you’re using a service like Deliveroo or Uber Eats) is themselves sick. And if so, they may have passed the virus onto the surface of the food containers.


As a result, it’s completely reasonable to call ahead to your food provider to ask them what precautions they’re taking to make sure their staff aren’t coming to work sick. Confirm that they’re operating at a standard you’re comfortable with. The same goes for food delivery services; though they’re far more transparent on their websites and apps with information about the measures they’re taking to protect the public.


Even though the risk of getting COVID-19 from takeaway is small, here are some steps you should take to minimise the risk further.


  1. Call ahead to make sure the food provider is taking necessary precautions.

  2. Wash your hands before handling the packaging.

  3. Transfer the food out of the packaging and into your own serving dish.

  4. Dispose of the packaging

  5. Wash your hand thoroughly.

  6. Enjoy your food.


If you follow these steps, the risk of contracting the virus from your delivered dinners will be almost non-existent.


We understand that this is a difficult time for a great many people. If your mental health is really suffering, please reach out and get some help. Beyond Blue has a dedicated support service for this exact situation, so find out more by clicking here, or just calling them on 1800 512 348


The latest government information about restrictions and financial help can be found here.


If you have any concerns yourself about coronavirus or your respiratory health, you can get in touch with us to book a no fee telehealth appointment with our respiratory specialists.


Breathe Well - Live Well


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This article is from Keystone Medical Media, a sub-entity of Keystone Content.


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