Is it safe to eat food that's been delivered? Can a microwave kill coronavirus?

Dr. Jodie Dionne-Odom, an infectious disease specialist, answered some of the most frequently asked questions about food safety amid the coronavirus outbreak.


The coronavirus has forced us to question every aspect of our lives we took for granted. From door handles to delivered food, everything and anything can start to feel like a possible contamination.

Dr. Jodie Dionne-Odom, an infectious disease specialist from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, took questions from Mark Albert, chief national investigative correspondent for WCVB. Albert asked some of the most frequently asked questions about the coronavirus, called COVID-19, relating to food. Here are her answers:

If people are trying to stock up here for food, what should they know about reusable bags, single-use bags?

"Send the person who does not have any symptoms," Dionne-Odom advised. "Bring a bag that is not one that you frequently reuse. Discard the bag when you get back home. And while you're shopping, really just touch the things that you're ready to purchase. Don't touch anything that you don't want to buy."

Can the virus be killed with heat? If you put delivery food in the microwave, will that make it safe?

"I have good news," Dionne-Odom said, "which is that we have no documented cases of coronavirus being transmitted in food. It's not like typhoid or something else or a cholera. That said, though, you touch (the container it came in.) As soon as you get the food, come into your house to put it into a separate container that's clean. Then throw away the container that it came in and wash your hands very carefully."

Is it safer if only one person runs the errands for the family?

"I think it is important to also designate one person who is going to be doing the shopping," Dionne-Odom said. "Why expose multiple people in the household?"