When you find out that a loved one is sick or unable to leave their home, you may volunteer to prepare and deliver food to help out during their time of need. Now, during the statewide lockdown, the issue of safe-handling and contact is of utmost importance. If you’re helping to prepare or deliver meals during the quarantine, make sure that you consider the following guidelines to ensure that you’re being safe.

Clean Your Workspace.
Wash off fruits and vegetables before handling them, and clean up your workstation as you go. If you wipe down your countertops with a cleaning agent, wait until the surface is dry before moving forward. Always make sure your utensils are clean and that your cutting boards are sanitized.

Wear Gloves.
Wearing gloves protects you and the items you’re handling from cross-contamination. Change gloves when they become dirty or torn and especially after handling raw meat, seafood, or poultry.

Wash Your Hands. A Lot.
If there’s one piece of advice that’s been drilled into us all during the Covid-19 crisis, it’s that we need to wash our hands properly and often. As a general rule, you should wash your hands for 20 seconds, making sure to get in between fingers, underneath nails, around your thumbs, and the backs of your hands.

Include Labels.
Including a “date prepared” label is incredibly helpful to the recipient in case they need to freeze the meal or leftovers. It’s also helpful to include an ingredients label so they can be aware of any foods that may trigger allergies.

Deliver Meals Quickly and with Minimal Contact
Make sure you separate your hot and cold foods and deliver them as soon as they are ready. Placing them in convenient totes with handles will allow you to place the bags on the porch so that the recipient can easily carry everything inside. If the recipient is too ill to come outside, ask them if there is a caregiver available to receive the delivery or leave the food in an area of the home that has been designated as a safe zone.

Don’t Cook If You’re Sick
If you feel sick, stay out of the kitchen. Even if you think that you’re suffering from something minor, such as seasonal allergies, it’s best to play it safe and refrain from cooking meals for others.

Source: Tips to Take a Meal Safely, TakeThemAMeal.com