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Tips to safely handle take-out orders and food deliveries

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Many people are staying at home during the novel coronavirus pandemic, so chances are you have ordered take-out or had meals delivered. But there are precautions you have to take. Here are a few ways to make sure you leave unwanted germs at the doorstep.

- One of the safest things you can do is limit the contact you have, or preferably not make any contact at all, with the delivery person during the hand-off. This means paying ahead of time, through the phone or through an app if possible. You can also request that the delivery person leave the package or the food outside your door.

RELATED: Support restaurants Tuesday, which has been named “Great American Take Out Day"

- Once the food is inside your home, the next thing health experts advise is to take it out of the containers. Throw those containers away and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Health experts also say its best to have an area on your counter top to place the food, and wipe down that area with disinfectant.

- Health experts advise against grabbing the food with your hands. Try and use a utensil to move the food to one of your containers and then wash the utensil. If you have leftovers, it is best to transfer the food to your own container before putting it away. You never want to keep anything that came from the restaurant in your house.

The ultimate goal is to make sure the food is not being transferred from packaging materials to your hands.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is currently no evidence to support that the virus can be transmitted through food.

However, the National Institutes of Health reports the coronavirus can live on cardboard surfaces for 24 hours, stainless steel for two to three days and on plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

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