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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Food workers are considered essential employees right now. Many people are relying on restaurants if they haven’t gone to the grocery store or don’t normally cook. Some consumers are worried about contracting COVID-19 from their takeout.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) said establishments should continue good hygiene practices.

“If you get food from a takeout, obviously food workers should not be working if they are sick,” explained Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Landers said that pertains to any illness, not just COVID-19.

“We should continue to wash our hands and sanitize our hands before we eat food,” she added. 

As for actual food, the ADPH said transmission has not been proven possible.

“Food in and of itself is not a vehicle to transmit COVID,” Landers explained. “In other words, COVID is a respiratory droplet, it’s not transmitted by food, it’s not a foodborne illness.”

Delivery and take out options have become essential for local restaurants. Meanwhile, food handlers still face a bit of risk. Thankfully some food and grocery delivery services allow non- contact delivery options. That way there’s no physical exchange of goods.

Landers also advised those who are sick and at home to stay out of the kitchen just to be cautious.

“Persons that are sick with COVID really should not be preparing food for their families, but again food is not a vehicle to transmit COVID,” she concluded.