Are meal kits a good option during coronavirus?

As global concerns about coronavirus grow, many families are wondering if meal kit services are a good option.

First, many experts believe that spreading coronavirus via food (no matter where it’s bought) isn’t high risk because evidence says the virus primarily spreads via the respiratory system as opposed to the digestive tract.

However, experts still advise washing produce or taking any other appropriate precautions before using them.

Spread via packaging could be a concern as well — but most meal kit companies are noting that its distribution center workers already adhere to strict food safety guidelines and laws, including wearing gloves.

That said, many experts recommend unpacking food — whether it be delivery, pick up or curbside — and throwing away containers and wrappers as soon as you can and washing your hands after doing so.

Of course, hand washing is an important part of cooking and preparing food and that’s something that all home cooks should be doing with or without coronavirus worries. Hand washing not only helps prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that spread diseases such as COVID-19 but also food borne illness.

In addition, properly cooking food to recommended temperatures is always a good safeguard against food borne illness and other pathogens.

Meal delivery services, which include Home Chef, Blue Apron, Sun Basket, Green Chef, Marley Spoon and more, have largely responded assuring customers that the safety of their supply chains remains paramount.

Of course, no one can guarantee that any pathogen will or will not be spread via a particular source, but it’s also worth keeping in mind that commercial food operations are generally kept very clean and have to follow a variety of regulations and subject to regular inspections.

There’s also a fair amount of automation used in many commercial food distribution centers which can reduce the amount of human touch points.

However, some services have also announced they are unable to fulfill orders — at fairly late notice, so it’s probably not ideal to rely on these services for your food needs.