Rethinking eating out: How to protect yourself when social distancing rules are lifted
When restaurants open again, it will be a new day in dining out.
Coronavirus has diners reassessing their relationship with eating out. Is it even safe as we as a nation recover from COVID-19?
The National Restaurant Association is telling restaurant owners to pay particular attention to wiping down door handles, menus, utensils and salt shakers. According to new information from the National Institutes of Health, researchers found that coronavirus can remain on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. It can also attach itself to aerosols in the air for up to three hours.
If you want to take extra precautions, bring your own antimicrobial wipes. Lysol, Purell and Clorox are some of the brand name cleaners the EPA recommends. You can find a complete list of 83 antimicrobial products at www.epa.gov/.
One big question: can the virus be transmitted through infected food? Harvard researchers say although they can’t rule it out, the virus would likely be killed by cooking the food.
Also, you may be wondering if it’s safe to drink the tap water. Experts say these types of viruses are very susceptible to being treated with chlorine, and water treatment plants chlorinate to a level that addresses pathogens like coronavirus.
And whether you’re eating out or in, remember, wash your hands before and after.
Some areas of concern are hot and cold bars, like you find in grocery stores. Many are starting to offer pre-packaged foods only.
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