With most of the country on lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, many people are turning to takeout and delivery food. But how safe is it?
Experts say the risk of contracting COVID-19 through hot or cold meals is extremely low.
They say there's no evidence that the virus is transmitted by food or food packaging.
And even if the virus is ingested, the stomach would actually get rid of it.
"When you eat any kind of food, whether it be hot or cold, that food is going to go straight down into your stomach where there is a high acidity, low pH environment that will also inactivate the virus," said Angela Rasmussen, PhD, a virologist at Columbia University.
"I think the highest risk moment in getting food delivered to you is actually the face-to-face interaction, if you have one with the delivery person," said Dr. Celine Gounder, clinical assistant professor at NYU Medical School.
For those who do order food, have the delivery person leave it outside at the door, wait until they leave and then get the food. Remove the food from the packaging and leave the packaging outside or throw it away immediately. Wipe the surfaces of the food containers, and lastly wash your hands.