Imagine these. It’s your sister’s birthday, and you want to give her this tasty pasta dish you cooked for her special day. Or maybe your friend wants to share his special beef stew with you. Do you want to order food online? Cooking and sharing food with your friends and family are some of the ways we can physically connect with other people during this pandemic. But the question is: is it safe or not?

Elizabeth A. Bihn, a professor from the Food Science Department of Cornell University, says “yes.” The risk of coronavirus transmission through sharing of food or getting it from the packaging is very low, but people should still take caution. Furthermore, viruses shouldn’t be the only concern.

The tips below will prevent catching viruses and other diseases:

Preparing food

The Partnership for Food Safety Education lists “four core practices” that we should follow. They are: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Make sure to clean your hands, tools, and surfaces properly to avoid contamination. Rinse the produce with cool running water and avoid using bleach or soap to clean them. Foods should be cooked in correct temperatures and should be stored as soon as possible. It’s not necessary to wear a mask when you prepare food but if it prevents you from touching your face, then do it.

Delivering food

Aim for contactless delivery as much as possible. As stated by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronavirus is transmitted via droplets from coughing or sneezing of an infected person. This means a person can still be at risk with in-person delivery. When delivering food, make sure to wear a face mask, put the food to be delivered in an area at least six feet away from you, and then let the receiver pick it up.

Packing and unpacking food

Place the food inside plastic wraps or aluminum foils, or in reusable containers. This will avoid food contamination during delivery. When unpacking food, Dr. Bihn recommends bringing the food and clearing a space for the containers. If the food is inside the bag, place it on the floor and then remove it. Open the container and then transfer the contents to another one. If the bags are reusable, wash it, and if not, dispose properly.

Dr. Bihn knows that not everybody will go through all these steps all the time. But if you want to take these extra steps, it will give you peace of mind. The risk of virus transmission from food is unlikely to happen. Just make sure that you keep your hands clean always.