Staying Safe with Contactless Delivery

May 29, 2020
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Demand for at-home and contactless food delivery has spiked in countries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. And, as the Cayman Islands continues to hunker down indoors, ordering food and groceries online and having them delivered is increasingly vital. By choosing contactless delivery of fast food burgers or the best Italian food in the Cayman Islands you can ensure that your food will be left at your door, or that you can pick it up at the curb with the minimum of interaction.

Businesses prefer contactless delivery, encouraging customers to pay with credit or debit card to minimize personal interaction. Some have even introduced no cash policies to limit the exchange of germs during transactions – even though, according to the WHO, there’s little evidence that avoiding cash is actually safer for employees or customers.

Meanwhile, the idea of ordering food delivery raises the obvious question: Is it safe?

The answer is generally yes, with some stipulations. There is currently no evidence of food being associated with COVID-19 transmission, although inadequate hand washing, leading to contaminated food, is a common way for many diseases to spread. 

But with restaurants already subject to stringent food safety rules and inspections, as well as extra measures now put into place in the wake of Covid-19, the risks are not considered extreme. When it comes to this coronavirus, the greatest transmission risks are through interacting with other people.

That’s worth repeating: It’s the people, not the food, that is the greatest risk when it comes to Covid-19 transmission and eating.

In a pandemic, there are no clear-cut, perfect solutions, but there are ways you as an individual can make choices that will lessen the transmission risks for both you and the workers you rely on to get your meal and let you order with confidence. Here are some suggestions:

Order Direct: When your favorite restaurant has in-house delivery options, consider ordering through them directly instead of going through third-party apps, which take commission fees that can cut into restaurants’ already razor-thin margins.

Go Contactless: When ordering a food delivery, request contactless — where the driver drops the food off at your door with no personal interaction — to reduce the risk of person-to-person transmission for both of you.

Bin the Packaging: Throw away any packaging materials that come with your food delivery as well as immediately disinfect the surfaces in your home that they come into contact with. Research has shown that the virus is able to survive on surfaces from a few hours up to a few days, depending on the surface.

Wash Your Hands Again: Hand washing remains one of the single most important things people can do to protect themselves and others. Do it after touching any food packaging that’s come in contact with people outside your home.

No Sharing: In general, it’s wise not to share drinks or utensils. And particularly in this current situation, it would be wisest not to share a delivered meal. If you need to share an order, divide the food onto separate plates first. And don’t use any delivered utensils. Use your own.

Tip Generously: It’s 2020 and the absolute minimum acceptable tip for any food delivery should be at least $5. In a pandemic, consider doubling, or even tripling that. A low-paid gig worker risked exposure to an infectious and potentially fatal virus so that you could eat without risking going outside. That’s surely worth a generous tip.

Rate Highly: And don’t forget to leave a nice review for the restaurant on social media, since even a famous restaurant in Grand Cayman can be helped or hurt by what customers say on review sites. After all, if the restaurant that cooks your meal goes out of business — along with all the jobs they provide — then what do you expect to be delivered while you’re self-quarantined?

The bottom line is, choose delivery to avoid interacting with more people outside until it is safe to do so. Handled correctly, delivery is safe, both for you and the delivery person, and it helps your favourite restaurant and its employees stay afloat in a very difficult time.

Now please wash your hands.