Is Takeout Food Safe? Potential Health Risks During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives, many of us have turned to takeout food as a convenient and enjoyable alternative to home cooking. However, concerns have been raised about the safety of this practice. Is it possible to contract the virus from food prepared by someone who is infected? What precautions are restaurants taking to ensure the safety of their food? This article aims to address these questions and provide some reassurance about the safety of takeout food during these challenging times.

Can COVID-19 be transmitted through food?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is currently no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19. The virus is primarily spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Therefore, it is unlikely that you can get COVID-19 from food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good food safety practices to reduce the risk of illness from common foodborne pathogens.

What precautions are restaurants taking?

Restaurants are implementing a variety of measures to ensure the safety of their food and their customers. These include:

  • Increased frequency of cleaning and sanitizing, particularly in high-touch areas.
  • Ensuring employees practice good personal hygiene, including frequent handwashing and using gloves when handling food.
  • Implementing social distancing measures, such as spacing out tables and limiting the number of customers in the restaurant at any one time.
  • Offering contactless delivery or curbside pickup options to minimize person-to-person contact.

What can consumers do to reduce risk?

While the risk of contracting COVID-19 from takeout food is low, there are steps you can take to further reduce your risk:

  • Opt for contactless delivery or curbside pickup options where available.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before eating.
  • Transfer food to your own dishes and dispose of the takeout containers.
  • Reheat the food to kill any potential viruses.


In conclusion, the risk of contracting COVID-19 from takeout food is very low. Both restaurants and consumers can take steps to further reduce this risk. As always, it is important to stay informed about the latest guidelines and recommendations from health authorities. Enjoying takeout food from your favorite restaurant can be a safe and enjoyable way to add some variety to your meals during this pandemic.