Restaurant Food Is Not a Big Risk for Coronavirus

My local burger joint had these signs posted at every other table.Kevin Drum

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New York and Los Angeles have both shut down bars and restaurants, but only for eating in. Takeout and delivery are still OK. Presumably this means that food itself poses little or no risk of coronavirus transmission, which seems a little odd to me. But apparently that’s the case. Here’s the European Food Safety Authority:

There is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus. EFSA’s chief scientist, Marta Hugas, said: “Experiences from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), show that transmission through food consumption did not occur. At the moment, there is no evidence to suggest that coronavirus is any different in this respect.”

….Regarding food safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued precautionary recommendations including advice on following good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as washing hands, cooking meat thoroughly and avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods. More information can be found on the WHO website.

Obviously all the usual precautions still apply, including washing your hands and so forth, since a restaurant can have infected surfaces and coughing customers just like anyplace else. But the food itself is pretty low risk as long as you’re not eating at a total dive.

I’m only mentioning this because I like to eat lunch outside the house and I’ve been a little unclear on the guidelines for this. Don’t get me wrong: If I can’t, then I can’t, and I’ll make do. But if I can do it safely, I’ll keep doing it until someone tells me to stop.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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