Coronavirus: How to stay healthy when ordering takeout from restaurants

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGO) -- While Americans are asked to shelter-in-place in order to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus spread, ordering takeout could be a welcomed treat for the entire family.

But is it safe? The general consensus is... mostly. The virus can live for a while on plastic and paper surfaces, so it's still possible to get sick, but if you do the right things there are ways to protect yourself.

"With everything that is going on, we believe that takeout is perfectly safe," said Dan Henroid, Director of Nutrition & Food Services at UCSF Health. "We are strongly encouraging a no contact-delivery and have the delivery driver leave it outside your door."

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For delivery drivers, it is important to conduct good hand hygiene practices to prevent the spread of Coronavirus."I recommend that they (delivery drivers) should be sanitizing between pick-ups," said Henroid.

Gather plates, utensils, and Lysol wipes before the delivery arrives. Have a designated area where you will be unpacking the delivery.

"Take the food 100% out of the packaging and put it onto the plates," said Henroid. "Dispose of all the packaging including the bag and wipe down all the surfaces that the bag has been."

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If you have ordered family-style food portions place the food into bigger bowls and plates. Do not leave food in the packaging that the restaurant has provided.

"A lot of the research is emerging, the lab science tells us that it (the coronavirus) can live on surface up to 24 hours," said Henroid. "When we are doing these types of things we don't have a lot of real world research to say how long it will actually live on a surface when there is wind and all kinds of factors going on."

Experts at UCSF say that there is "no data or research that the Coronavirus lives on food" and delivery food is safe to consume.

After placing your food on plates and disposing all packing, wash your hands for twenty seconds.

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