HOUSTON – In an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, restaurants are shutting down dining rooms. Many people are ordering takeout and delivery, and are even having groceries delivered. But is it safe?
According to the Food and Drug Administration, there is no food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19, but the virus can survive on surfaces and can be transmitted between people. You should be careful when it comes to the items you bring into your home.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that COVID-19 can survive for days on some surfaces. In an experiment, here is how long the virus remained active on the following surfaces:
- Plastic: 2-3 days
- stainless steel: 2-3 days
- Cardboard: 24 hours
- Copper: 4 hours
- In the air: 3 hours
How to protect yourself
Even if you use curbside pick-up or delivery apps like Postmates and Doordash that offer “no contact” deliveries, experts suggest taking these additional precautions:
- Use your own dishes. Toss out takeout containers.
- Re-heat your food, even if it’s already warm.
- Wipe down the surfaces your grocery bags and delivery boxes touched.
- Wash your hands.
- Leave cardboard boxes that were delivered outside for 24 hours before bringing them inside.
Coronavirus needs a host to live in. Without a person to transfer to, the virus on those surfaces will eventually peter out.