Even though we’re fortunate to have plenty of food in our pantry and refrigerator, I want to do my part to support our local restaurants, many of whom are still offering pick-up or delivery options. As someone who’s married to a hospitality professional, with many friends and colleagues in the business, it’s important to me to do what I can to help this industry not take such a hard hit.

Here’s the deal: restaurant margins are already pretty low, so even a 10% dip in sales is devastating. Like they will close and never re-open again.

And no surprise here but food professionals cannot work from home. Many of my dear friends are losing their jobs as we speak. By simply ordering a meal from your favorite local joint (we had pizza for lunch today!), you’re making a huge impact.

Want to go the extra inch? Share a photo of your food on Instagram and tag them. Spreading the love like that goes a very long way.

 

Also, let’s be honest: it’s nice to get a break from so much cooking. (Even though my husband does all of it in our house). And pro tip: It’s also a way to stock up your freezer — or a friend’s or relative’s — who might be immuno-compromised and can’t get out of the house for groceries, or have them delivered.

But before you order pick-up or delivery food, you’ll want to be sure you know these food safety tips.

Even though food workers hold themselves to extremely high standards when it comes to food safety, and handle cross-contamination issues on a daily basis (this is their job, people!), these tips are just an extra precaution to ensure that you’re being careful given the circumstances.

Related: Quarantine prep tips that are smart, not alarmist 

1. It’s safest to stick with hot foods. So, while the hoagies and salads might be tempting, they’re a little trickier when it comes to germs, so skip them and go with hot food.

Safe food take-out and delivery tips: Supporting your local restaurants while staying safe

2. Wash your hands before and after you handle the take-out containers, as well as before and after you eat. If you need help with proper hand washing technique, we’ve got you covered. (According to experts, the likelihood is super low that you could contract anything from touching a take-out container but we would err on the side of caution anyway.)

3. Remove the food from the container it arrived in, then put it into a different microwave-safe container, even if your food is still hot. Microwave it at least 20 seconds on high in your microwave and you’re set.

That’s it, nothing crazy! Now go order some take-out and tip big.

Let’s all do what we can to help lessen the impact of this pandemic on those in our community trying to earn a living.

Photos: Dan Gold, Pinar Kucuk via Unsplash

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