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There is no current evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. However, it is recommended that good hygiene practices are followed during food handling and eating to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses and viruses such as COVID-19.
Hand Hygiene and Safe Food Handling
Make sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds:
- Before, during, and after preparing any food
- After handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs
- Before eating
- After touching garbage
- After wiping counters or cleaning surfaces with chemicals
- After using the washroom
- After changing diapers
- After touching pets, pet food, or pet treats
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
- After using serving utensils
Gloves are not necessary when handling food and proper hand washing is the best way to control the spread of germs. However, if you choose to wear gloves, be sure to wash your hands before and after wearing them, as contaminated gloves can spread germs to your hands while removing them.
As an extra precaution to help avoid foodborne illness and the transmission of COVID-19, we recommend following standard safe food handling practices such as frequent washing and sanitizing of all food contact surfaces, equipment, and utensils. Follow the four basic steps of cleaning equipment and dishware: pre-rinse, clean with detergent, rinse, and sanitize.
Food Safety and Take-Out or Drive-Thru Services
There is no current evidence that eating take-out food or drive-thru food increases your risk of foodborne illness. Compared with dining-in at a restaurant, ordering take-out food and drive-thru services reduces the amount of surfaces and people that you come into contact with. Remember the following:
- Always maintain the required 2 metre physical distance between yourself and others if waiting in line to pick up takeout food
- Wait in your car if possible
- Prepay online before pick up if this is an option
- To further reduce risks, wash hands with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after handling any food packaging and before eating
- For any safety concerns related to how food is being handled, file a food safety complaint anonymously on our website. Public Health Inspectors will follow up within 24 hours
Note: For individuals required to self-isolate at home, a meal delivery service must be used instead of picking up take-out food or drive-thru.
Food Safety and Meal Delivery Services
Similar to take-out and drive-thru food, meal delivery services help with maintaining physical distancing and reduces the amount of surfaces and people that you come into contact with. There is no current evidence that using a meal delivery service increases your risk of illness. Remember the following:
- If you are currently required to self-isolate, be sure to have no interaction with the delivery person by prepaying online and asking them to leave the food delivery at the entrance to your home.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after handling any food packaging and before eating.
- For any safety concerns related to how food is being handled, file a food safety complaint anonymously. Public Health Inspectors will follow up within 24 hours.