People share food during special events to celebrate with their family and friends. They also share food to give comfort to others during ordinary days. Cooking and sharing food are some of the things we can do to connect with other people during the pandemic. But is it safe or not?

The quick answer is yes, according to Elizabeth A. Bihn, professor from Cornell University – Food and Science Department. The chance of getting a virus from food or its packaging is low, but people should still be more careful. And more importantly, viruses shouldn’t be the only concern.

These tips will help avoid catching viruses and other diseases:

Preparing food

The Partnership for Food Safety Education says there are four important steps that we should follow when we prepare food. These are: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Always clean your hands, tools, and the area properly to avoid food contamination. Rinse food with cool running water and do not use bleach or soap to clean them. Food must be cooked properly and should be stored in containers or refrigerators right away.

Delivering food

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that coronavirus can spread through droplets from coughing or sneezing from a sick person, so anyone can still be at risk with in-person delivery. Be sure to wear a face mask, put the food to be delivered in a place that is at least six feet away from you, and then let the receiver get it.

Packing and unpacking food

Put the food inside reusable containers, or in plastic wraps or aluminum foils. It will prevent the food from getting contaminated. When unpacking food, Dr. Bihn says to bring the food and make space for containers. If the food is inside the bag, put it on the floor and then take it out. Open the container and then place the food to another one. If bags can be used again, wash it, and if not, throw it away properly.

Not everybody will go through all the steps all the time, but Dr. Bihn says that these extra steps can give people some peace of mind. The chances of getting viruses from food or the packaging is low. But always make sure to be careful and wash your hands regularly.