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Take-Out Food Safety during COVID-19

April 11, 2020

Many people are taking advantage of the decision by restaurants to offer take-out meals. Public Health Inspectors with the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit have worked with each restaurant to ensure they adhere to safe food handling practices. The Public Health Inspectors have also suggested ways to minimize the contact with the public as people pick up their food – keeping the duration of contact to a minimum, maintaining a distance of 6 feet, and washing hands or using hand sanitizer between exchanges of food with the public. People who pick up food should wash their hands before they eat the food.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, “there is currently no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus and there are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 transmission through food. People are unlikely to be infected with the virus through food.”

If an employee of a restaurant has lab confirmed COVID-19, then the Health Unit will follow up to assess whether the public was at risk from contact with this individual. This was done with the Tincap Restaurant on Highway 29. From our assessment, the risk is low for the public who visited the restaurant from the end of March until it was closed on April 4. People who picked up their food would have spent a very short time interacting with employees at the take-out counter. Masks were used by staff interacting with the public for much of this time period.

The Health Unit has staff answering COVID-19 related questions and concerns for the public from 8:30am to 4:30pm every day at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2499. Public Health Inspectors are also available to discuss environmental health concerns. You can also get more information about COVID-19 by visiting www.healthunit.org/coronavirus or by connecting with LGLHealthUnit on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact

For media interviews, contact Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, 613-802-0550, susan.healey@healthuntit.org.