Tips on How to Order Food Safely, According to a Local Restaurateur

Written by:

There’s a lot of information swirling in the last 48 hours, and we’re doing our best to digest it all. When it comes to food delivery and dining, one local restaurateur, Gonca Esendemir, of Flatbread Grill in Hoboken, reached out to share her thoughts on restaurant and delivery tips if you do venture out {though city officials are encouraging you not to at this time — as the more people practice ‘social distancing’ the better} or better yet — order in. Here are some tips for food ordering in a safe manner, according to Gonca.

Please note: These are not verified by the Department of Health/FDA, and merely serve as editorial tips to reduce potential exposure to any bacteria or viruses. Please follow all rules set in place by your local government and practice all safety precautions.

delivery

1. Add a voluntary ‘no contact’ option on your delivery orders.

GrubHub/UberEats have a voluntary ‘no contact’ option whereas DoorDash/Postmates have a mandatory one. You can make a note on your deliveries for ‘no contact’ to protect yourself and the drivers. Drivers very rarely carry hand sanitizer and/or get to stop frequently to wash their hands. They are grabbing pens at sign-in desks, touching doorknobs, and ringing bells.

2. Make sure you wash your hands after you take the food out of the bag before you eat. 

Enough said.

3. Order hot foods.

Bacteria and viruses rarely survive at the high temps we cook them in. Reheat if possible.

4. Look for restaurants with open kitchens where you can make sure they are wearing gloves.

Many restaurants have implemented Coronavirus disinfection strategies. Chains have mandatory cleaning procedures as well as require their employees to wear gloves. You always have a right to ask a line worker to wash their hands and put on gloves. They may give you the stink eye, but it’s okay — don’t take a chance!

5. Pay with a credit card if possible.

Many times, a cashier or line worker will forget to wash their hands after they handle money and even if they wear gloves- they still had to touch the gloves to put them on.

6. Don’t grab door handles with your hands.

Use your sleeve or napkin. Even though many are wiping down routinely, better safe than sorry.

7. Don’t hesitate to ask for your table to be wiped down if you are dining in.

Again, you may get the stink eye but c’est la vie.

8. Do not send your leftovers to be wrapped.

Ask for a container and do it yourself.

9. Wipe down disposable utensils with lemon, sanitizing wipes if possible, or even a wet napkin. 

Oftentimes, when the staff is restocking these, they are not wearing gloves. Same goes for polished silverware. They don’t always wear gloves when polishing.
Give it a wipe if you are going to use them. Same goes for silverwear and glass cups.

10. Avoid drinking out of pint glasses unless you know specifically it is coming from an actual dishwashing machine and NOT being washed at the service bar.

Most drinking glasses are going through a high temp dishwasher or a low temp with heavy chemical sanitizers, so these are usually safe.

 

And of course, wash your hands before you eat!

Here’s another thread that may be of help as well:


Written by:

Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HobokenGirl.com. With deep entrepreneurial roots in Hudson County — as her grandparents owned textile businesses on Tonnelle Ave in North Bergen dating back to the 50s — she started the site as a Hoboken resident to discover the amazing things happening in the area. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event or #HobokenGirlHelps volunteer project, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her two pups, or watching Bravo TV and ordering takeout with her husband.