Answering your questions: Cleaning, takeout, reinfection and more

Posted at 6:51 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 18:51:56-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 7 Eyewitness News has created this site to answer the many questions our viewers have about COVID-19. Below are some answers compiled Thursday in regards to cleaning, takeout and reinfection.

Q: “Should we clean or wipe all products bought at store? How long will the virus stay on food and household products?
- Lalys from Cheektowaga

A: The Erie County Department of Health says as general guidance, you should wash your hands after touching surfaces or handling packaged products during cooking or before eating. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there’s no reason to believe food or food packaging can transmit COVID-19. It can survive on surfaces or objects — the National Institutes of Health suggests for several hours to days. The FDA recommends following the four key food safety steps: clean, separate, cook and chill.

Q: "How safe is ordering food for take out? Can the virus live on food for some time?"
- Michael from Grand Island

A: The FDA states there's no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food or food packaging. In regards to takeout, the county health department said generally eating take out is “primarily the same as eating as if you were in a seated restaurant." COVID-19 isn’t seen as a foodborne disease. What you do want to continue doing is making sure the restaurant is following proper food handling protocols.

Q: “Can someone who had the virus and has recovered pass the virus on to others?"
- L. Robinson from Lockport

A: This answer is coming straight from the Centers for Disease Control. Those released from isolation, do not “pose a risk of infection” to others. As a reminder, though, COVID-19 is spreading person-to-person. Anyone who is actively sick can spread the virus to others.

7 Eyewitness News will continue to ask the experts for answers to your questions.