Is Takeout And Food Delivery Safe?

By Danielle Wirsansky on June 26, 2020

Many college students rely on takeout food and food delivery services in the best of times. And now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic where venturing out in public and even eating at a restaurant feels dangerous, takeout is a solace many students are interested in pursuing. But are takeout and food delivery any safer than eating out? Many people are conflicted as exactly how the coronavirus spreads seems a little bit mysterious, and are afraid of contracting it even through takeout and food delivery orders. Is it safe at all?

The short answer is that takeout and food delivery can be safe and is definitely safer than eating at a restaurant. This is because the spread of the virus is through people and not the food. The fewer people you come in contact with, the better your chances of sparing yourself the coronavirus. There are also ways to cut down your risk factors even with takeout and food delivery to help you keep yourself and your loved ones as healthy as possible during this crisis. Read on to learn ways that you can make your takeout and food delivery as safe as possible!

Photo by Jacoby Clarke from Pexels

Takeout versus Food Delivery

Some people debate the merits of takeout versus food delivery in terms of safety. For some students, being able to leave the house and drive to a restaurant, even if only to pick up some takeout, is a much-needed respite from being in quarantine all day which is why they choose to do so. However, food delivery can often be safer because your contact is limited to only the delivery driver. Contactless food delivery has also become a huge trend during the pandemic, which means you have no contact with anyone at all when your food is delivered. This is the safest option.

This does not mean that getting takeout food is unsafe. It just means that contactless food delivery is the safest option of them all. If a restaurant you really want to support does not offer delivery, this does not mean that you should not go and get takeout from them. It just means you need to be aware of your surroundings and minimize your risks when collecting your takeout.

Hopefully, when you go to collect your takeout, the restaurant will be relatively empty. Be aware and watch that employees are wearing masks, wearing gloves, and following other safety precautions while handling your food. Keep your distance between employees too.

If the restaurant is not as empty, stay away from the other diners or other people waiting to pick up their take out as well. Six feet away from others is still the rule to follow. And be sure to wear a mask yourself! Remember, it is not the food that puts you most at risk for coronavirus, it is the contact you have with other people. As long as you are working to minimize that contact, you are doing what you can!


Another way you can minimize risk whether you are getting takeout or food delivered is by using your own utensils. Most places will provide you with utensils out of habit or in case you need them. But if you are eating at home, you probably do not need them. You have your own silverware at your disposal. Not only is using your own silverware better for the environment but it is also better for you. While the spread of the virus is still much more about human contact, not using the plastic utensils a restaurant provides you with and using your own silverware is just one way you can help keep yourself safer.

Wiping Down

The chances of the coronavirus spreading through restaurant workers touching your boxes of food is very slim. Even if someone with the virus touched your box, unless they touched it with their bodily fluids which you then ingested or took into your body through contact, the chances of you contracting any illness are slim. But if you want to minimize your risks, you can wipe down and sanitize any bags or takeout containers of food. Many people do this with letters, boxes, and other packages they receive in the mail.

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Depending on your circumstances, not getting any takeout or food delivered is the safest option to protect yourself. But there is no shame in ordering it anyways. And now you can minimize any risks of getting ill by following these safeguards. Remember to tip restaurants and delivery drivers too, as many people in the food service industry are still only paid by tips, and in this time where service can only be provided at a distance, every contribution you make will create a big difference in someone’s lives who really needs it.

Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre, a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History, and an MA in Modern European History with a minor in Public History. While a graduate student, she served as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President/Artistic Director of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), (associate editor), (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor). Danielle has been lucky to be writing for Uloop since 2015 and to have served as the FSU Campus Editor since 2015.

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