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Take-Out Tuesday: Wash your hands after touching take-out packaging to prevent COVID-19 spread

Take-Out Tuesday: the safety of take-out food
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Posted at 9:15 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 23:55:33-04

BILLINGS — Q2 has launched a weekly segment, Takeout Tuesday, in partnership with parent company E.W. Scripps to highlight local businesses and restaurants getting creative with their services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To kick off the segment, Q2 researched the safety of take-out food and how to minimize the risk of infection from COVID-19.

Preliminary research conducted in March by Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton tried to answer the question of how long COVID-19 stayed alive on different surfaces.

Their researchers found that COVID-19 can survive on hard surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours. The virus can stay alive on cardboard for up to 24 hours.

The research has not been peer reviewed, but according to National Public Radio, the paper is expected to be published in a scientific journal.

Because the virus can stay alive on surfaces for days, important to manage the risk of COVID-19 infection when ordering take-out or drive-through meals.

According to North Carolina State University, COVID-19 is thought to be spread person to person through respiratory droplets or saliva and mucus.

The university said there is currently no evidence to support the claim that COVID-19 is transmitted by eating food.

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Infographic about take-out food safety from North Carolina State University.

This is because COVID-19 infects via the respiratory system or lungs, and not through the digestive tract or stomach.

It also may be possible to contract the virus by touching a contaminated surface, then touching a person's eyes, nose or mouth, according to NC State.

That's why whether ordering take out or cooking at home, it's important to practice good food safety hygiene.

If a person touched take-out food packaging, it's important to wash your hands before you dig in.

This makes sure your hands are clean before bringing your hands or a fork close to your face.

It's also important to wash your hands after using the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

As the community continues to support its struggling local businesses, remember to practice good food safety hygiene and wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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