COVID-19 lockdown: Are takeaways and deliveries safe at this time – Can you catch the disease from the packaging? (MUST READ)

6 months ago

As the coronavirus tightens its grip in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has declared a full lockdown on 2 states and the FCT in a live broadcast last night. Hitherto the federal announcements, different states have been taking measures in containing the spread of the deadly virus as markets, schools, non-essential businesses have been made to shut down a few days before.

Food and essentials businesses are left out of the lockdown that will keep about 30million people in their homes for an initial period of 14days. This only means deliveries and takeouts would be on the rise for this period.

Here are some crucial questions that needs to be answered;

Are takeaways and deliveries safe at this time?’

‘Can you catch the disease from the packaging?’

Well, there is no evidence that coronavirus is transmitted from food or food packaging, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. Nor is there any indication that people have contracted coronavirus, from consuming food, said food-safety expert Benjamin Chapman, a professor at North Carolina State University.

The virus can live up to 24 hours on cardboard, according to a study in the New England Journal of

Medicine

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“There is currently little scientific information about the survival of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the surface of open food,” the FDA said. “Work with similar viruses shows that some food surfaces don’t allow the virus to survive at all, but some do.”

The FDA also said there’s no risk in the virus traveling on food surfaces from overseas. “COVID-19 is not transmitted through food or ingredients. Even if surfaces or packaging have been contaminated, the virus will only survive on such surfaces for a short period, therefore there is no risk of contamination,” it said.

The virus can, however, live on surfaces. A study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was detectable for up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel, up to 24 hours on cardboard, up to four hours on copper, and up to three hours in aerosols.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 has also been detected in the stool of certain people. So we currently cannot rule out the possibility of the infection being transmitted through food by an infected person who has not thoroughly washed their hands,” according to researchers at Harvard Medical School. “In the case of hot food, the virus would likely be killed by cooking. This may not be the case with uncooked foods like salads or sandwiches.”

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