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Is it safe to order food online during a pandemic?

Even in the best of circumstances, many college students rely on takeout and food delivery services. And now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, were going out in public and even eating at a restaurant feels risky, many people are interested in takeout. But, in comparison to eating out, are takeout and food delivery any safer? 

Many people are conflicted because the exact mechanism by which the coronavirus spreads remains a mystery, and they are afraid of contracting it even through takeout and food delivery orders. Is it even safe?

The short answer is that takeout and food delivery can be safe and are certainly safer than dining out. It is because the virus spreads through people rather than food. The fewer people you interact with, the better your chances of avoiding the coronavirus. There are also ways to reduce your risk factors, including takeout and food delivery, to help you and your loved ones stay as healthy as possible during this crisis. Continue reading to learn how to make your takeout and food delivery as safe as possible!

Food Delivery vs. Takeout

In terms of safety, some people argue that takeout trumps food delivery. For some students, leaving the house and driving to a restaurant, even if only to pick up some takeout, provides a much-needed break from being in quarantine all day, which is why they do so. On the other hand, food delivery is frequently safer because your contact is limited to the delivery driver.

Contactless food delivery has also become popular during the pandemic, which means you have no contact with anyone when your food is delivered. It is the most secure option.

We can not say that ordering takeout food is unsafe. It means that contactless food delivery is the safest option available. If a restaurant you want to support does not offer delivery, that does not mean you should not go there for takeout. It simply means that you should be aware of your surroundings and minimize your risks when picking up your takeout.

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Hopefully, the restaurant will be relatively empty when you arrive to pick up your takeout. Keep an eye out for employees wearing masks, gloves and taking other safety precautions when handling your food. Maintain a safe distance between coworkers as well.

Stay away from other diners or people waiting to pick up their takeout if the restaurant is not empty. Six feet is still the rule to follow when interacting with others. And don’t forget to put on a mask yourself! Remember that your contact with other people, not your food, puts you at risk for coronavirus. You are doing your best as long as you are attempting to reduce that contact!


Another way to reduce risk when ordering takeout or having food delivered is to bring your utensils. Most places will provide you with a spoon as a matter of course or in case you require them. However, if you’re eating at home, you probably don’t need them. You have your silverware on hand. Using your fork is not only better for the environment, but it is also better for you. While the virus gets spread through human contact, not using the plastic utensils provided by restaurants instead of using your silverware is one way you can help keep yourself safer.


The likelihood of the coronavirus spreading through restaurant workers touching your food boxes is extremely low. Even if someone with the virus touched your package, the chances of you contracting an illness are slim unless they handled it with bodily fluids that you then ingested or took into your body through contact. However, if you want to reduce your risks, you can wipe down and sanitize any food bags or takeout containers. Many people do this with letters, boxes, and other mail-delivery items.

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Depending on your circumstances, the best way to protect yourself is to avoid ordering takeout or having food delivered. But there’s no reason not to call it anyway. And now, by following these precautions, you can reduce your chances of becoming ill. Remember to tip restaurants and delivery drivers, as many people in the foodservice industry are still only paid by tips. In this time when service gets provided remotely, every contribution you make will make a big difference in the lives of those who genuinely need it.