Is ordering takeout safe? Health experts say yes

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With bars and restaurants across New York takeout and delivery-only, some customers are wondering if those remaining methods of ordering are safe enough.

New York ordered all bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms closed at 8 p.m. Monday, leaving the only options for state residents being stocking up from the grocery store or getting takeout.

At The View in Glen Cove, they have a takeout window for quick customer transactions, using restaurant staff to man the window as it offers its St. Patrick's Day menu. The staff is taking typical precautions and also even making sure their phones are sanitized.

But is it truly safe to get takeout? Health experts say yes.

"There's been no proof that prepared food spreads the virus," says Eric Sieden, director of food and nutrition at Plainview, Syosset and Glen Cove hospitals. "And a lot of food establishments already have protocols in place. They're highly regulated by the Health Department and these regulations are already there to help prevent the spread of norovirus, hepatitis A, influenza."

MORE: LIVE BLOG - Coronavirus updates from the tri-state area and beyond 

Health experts offered another tip: 140 degrees of heat kills most viruses. So reheating food at or above that mark could help put some minds at ease.

"If you want to keep your oven about 140, that prevents the spread of any bacteria or the virus or anything present. if you are going to reheat in the microwave, you want to reheat to 165 degrees. that might over-cook the food a little bit, but it's sure to be safe," says Sieden.

At Henry's in Glen Cove, the full staff is making deliveries and taking extra precaution.

"The store is sanitized twice a day, sometimes three times," says owner Joe Valensisi. "We start with the vestibule area, the doorways, in and out, bleach everything."

 

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