COVID-19, social distancing and working from home, these have all effected all of us and businesses everywhere. While many restaurants have shifted their services to delivery to get by, Dr.Panpimol Wipulakorn, Director at the Department of Health, shares a few protocols on how to safely handle food deliveries for all parties, including restaurants, delivery service providers, and customers.
- Maintain a clean environment and strict hygiene policies.
- Fully cook and prepare meals well. For example, meat dishes should be cooked on heat of at least 70 degree Celsius.
- Have secure packaging for each food type to prevent contamination during delivery.
- Add labels with manufactured and best before dates, best before date and recommended storage temperature.
- Arrange waiting areas for delivery drivers that maintain the safe social distance of at least 1 meter between drivers.
- Provide proper ventilation.
- Wear face masks at all times to protect from coughing or sneezing into the food.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap or alcohol gel before entering the restaurant, after delivering the food, and after contact with paper bills (if any).
- Do not accept food from restaurant staff that appear sick with visible symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, or shortness of breath.
- Leave a distance of at least 1 meter from the restaurant staff at the delivery point.
- Avoid ordering food that is not fully cooked, can easily go bad, or food that requires hand preparation.
- Wear face masks when picking up the food from the driver.
- Wash hands with soap or alcohol gel immediately after picking up the food.
- Check that the food and packaging is in good shape.
- Choose to pay via mobile banking to avoid toughing paper bills.
“Working from home may lead to stress, which tends to make many overeat to compensate for the tension and pressure. Instead of gravitating for snacks, grab fruits or juices and make sure to control your portion intake. For example, we sometimes open a bag of chips and eat the whole bag in one sitting. A better control is to not eat directly from the bag, but pour out a portion of the chips into a small bowl”, says Associate Professor Dr. Kanitha Tananuwong, Head of the Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Science at Chulalongkorn University.
Additionally, Dr. Kanitha Tananuwong recommends that while we work from home and often rely on food delivery, we should consume a variety of food to make sure we are getting complete nutrition and remember to add vegetables and greens into your meals. Another advice is to limit food that is prepared using grills or through deep-frying methods, as fried meals are high in fat and grilled food contains carcinogens. Our body and health will do better with stir-fried or boiled food.