With social distancing guidelines extended at least through the end of April, shoppers are relying heavily on food delivery and takeout businesses. While current evidence suggests you cannot get coronavirus from food, you may wonder how to keep your household safe.  Here are tips to stay healthy!
First Things First: What to Order
You should first consider what you want to purchase. If you are ordering groceries:
- Try to order fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable ingredients. This will help you have a variety of foods to choose from until your next purchase. See the image below for shelf-stable food items to keep on hand.
- This is a great time to try meal planning! If you know the recipes you plan on making, shopping will be a breeze. You will also reduce possible food waste and save money by purchasing for meals that you know you will make.
If you are ordering takeout:
- Whether you are ordering for one person or a whole family, it is important to choose foods that will come together to make a balanced meal. Focus on including grains, proteins, vegetables, and a fruit option in your order. Remember: you can always supplement a takeout order with food you have on hand, as well.
- Read the menu carefully. Words like “crunchy,” “crispy,” or “creamy” often mean that the food will be higher in fat.  Instead, look for words such as “steamed” or “roasted.”
- For more tips on making smart takeout decisions, click here.
Once Groceries are Home
Whether you purchased your groceries in person or had them delivered to your house, you will want to handle them carefully. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers advice for cleaning and disinfecting your home during the pandemic, including which cleaners work best against coronavirus.  If you’re using cloth grocery bags, you will want to wash them with detergent in a washing machine and dry them before reusing.
Always Wash Your Hands
When receiving food deliveries, it is important to wash your hands after handling and putting away all delivery items. For trusted guidance on this process, see the infographic from the CDC below. 
Information regarding the coronavirus is constantly evolving. The information included in this blog post is taken from trusted experts on the topic. Make sure that you are staying up to date on the latest information by following the recommendations of the CDC, the WHO, and the FDA.
Written by Darci Bell, RDN, LD, Ph.D. Student | Edited by Laurel Sanville, MS, RDN, LD, & Taylor Newman, PhD candidate
References:Be Creative Drink Water Focus on Health How to Cook Better Invite Your Kids Plan Ahead Save Money Shop Smarter Store Food Uncategorized