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Risk of Getting COVID-19 From Food Is Low, But Dining Out Can Still Be Risky

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Thousands of restaurants are open for dining across the country, including 3,000 in New York City that offer outdoor options. But although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the risk of getting COVID-19 from food is “thought to be very low,” the agency recommends you wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol before preparing or eating food.

Still, according to Market Watch, diners should be cautious. Food-safety experts said simply touching your chair or salt shaker if they were not properly disinfected could spread the disease. Even though many eateries are using digital menus and disposable utensils, there is still danger lurking.

“If someone was sick and walked into a store and coughed on the handles of the self-serve buffet utensils and you touched your face, you could get coronavirus,” Benjamin Chapman, a professor at North Carolina State University, told Market Watch.

The Sun Sentinel, a prominent South Florida newspaper, did a survey of its readers to determine what safety features they would like to see in restaurants. As it turns out, their suggestions aligned with the CDC guidelines for restaurants and bars. Their benchmarks included cleanliness, protective gear such as face masks, gloves, and disinfectants, proper table spacing, disposable menus, and patios. Some readers said they would like to see temperature checks and partioned walls in place.

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