Curbside pickup is the safest way to dine and shop for most people. For many of us stuck at home during the COVID-19 crisis, deciding what to eat and drink has become the most interesting part of our day. Still, one burning question for many of us remains. “Is it safe to pick up to-go orders or delivery from restaurants and grocery stores?”
There are a lot of misconceptions about buying food from either a grocery store or a restaurant. Health officials have been clear on the topic. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 while picking up restaurant to-go food or retail to-go is extremely low. That said, your chances of encountering the virus is still greater than zero.
“Now that most DFW restaurants offer curbside pickup, ‘eating out’ has become a great way to support businesses in a struggling industry. It has the added bonus of adding some variety to the hum-drum of my home-cooked meals,” said Fort Worth resident Brian Murnahan. “If you are like me, getting outside is a real bonus, even if you never leave the car.”
Why is Curbside Pickup Safe?
Any food that enters your home passes through the hands of several people. Food safety experts call these relays points of contact. The fewer people who come into contact with anything you eat, the less chance you have of contracting the Coronavirus.
For example, produce from a grocery store is touched by everyone from the farmer to the grocery store stocker. Your greatest health threat at a grocery store comes from other customers, not the employees. If you’re ordering curbside pickup, your retail to-go order will likely be safe.
Like grocery stores, restaurants source most of their products from distributors. The same points of contact would apply for kitchen produce. Sometimes, multiple line-cooks and others also come into contact with your order. In restaurants, however, there are no customers interacting with your food. Restaurant employees are also required to pass a food safety test. Your restaurant to-go order will likely have been washed and cooked to temperature. This alone lowers your risk of contracting the Coronavirus.
Besides harvesting your own garden, catching, or hunting dinner, curbside pickup is a safe way to go. Your food come into contact with the fewest possible people. On top of that, the only people who touch your order have completed safety training.