Although ordering items online isn't a new idea in the UK, the current pandemic has created a shift in people's attitudes to this age-long habit. Depending on what item one wants to consider, the effect of coronavirus on online buying differs. According to Statista, over one-third of UK online shoppers claim to have stopped ordering fast food online. This decline in food delivery to homes and individuals by online vendors is not unconnected to the ample time people now have to prepare meals at home.
But now that offices, schools, and businesses are gradually opening up, can you return to getting prepared meals from online vendors, especially since we're not yet out of the coronavirus woods? Are takeaway foods safe if you buy them online? Again, considering that you do not probably know your supplier's status, can you trust them to bring fast food to you while at work? The best way to make an informed decision here is to answer a few questions honestly as you can.
Why Would Anyone Order Food Online During a Pandemic?
If you are a very busy executive who hardly has time to rest, let alone cook, you may need help from outside to feed. That aside, anyone that travels often may also have to depend on local food delivery to keep the tummy up and doing.
Similarly, if you are old, without family support, or have a disability that makes it impossible for you to cook, you may have to order food online most of the time. A coronavirus patient who is self-isolating too may have to order meals that can be heated and prepared very quickly online since no one would possibly want to take the risk of cooking for them.
So, there are many genuine reasons to order food online. However, if you are receiving pizza delivery or any other fast food online solely because you are too lazy to get to the kitchen, you might want to rethink the idea. It's much better to prepare one's meals by oneself. Apart from being in control of the process, it can be a productive way to spend your time during this coronavirus period.
What's the Current State of Local Restaurants in the UK?
If you are in one of those conditions that warrant that you get prepared meals outside your home, perhaps you should look at what's happening in the UK's local restaurants lately; it should help shape how you go about purchasing edible items outside.
Before the recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, The Telegraph notes that most government's precautionary measures against this pandemic came as mere guidelines. Pubs and local restaurants still had some leeway, and people ate outside, although with caution. But now that scientists and the government itself fear that a second wave of the virus may be imminent, Prime Minister Borris Johnson has come up with stiffer rules.
The current rules will see local restaurants and hospitality outlets in the UK close by 10 pm, even as the government has outlawed any gathering of more than six people at a time. People in the hospitality industry can only provide table-only services, and the sale of alcohol at joints and bars is now prohibited. As such, alcohol lovers would either have to buy it as a takeaway or order it online. But if you order alcohol online, you can save money and avoid going to public spaces during coronavirus times.
Individual offenders are liable to pay a fine of £200 per offence, and police can now arrest people who contravene these rules. All of these suggest that you can either choose to eat at home or order local food online. You can't eat out if you have a family size of more than six, except for different arrangements. For the latter, you can order a large number of frozen meals for the month, instead of depending on takeaway foods that can eat deeply into your savings.
How Can You Order Food Online Safely?
Apart from government regulations, for your safety and health, it's good you take social distancing rules and COVID-19 precautionary measures seriously, even when getting your healthy takeaway food from online vendors. So, whether it's gourmet food, pizza delivery or prepared meals that you want to buy online, here are practical ways you can avoid contracting the virus or spreading it during the course.
Research the Credibility of Your Food Vendors
Since we are talking about something that will go directly into your body, it's only normal to know a few things about your supplier and their operational model. Beyond what you read in papers or adverts about them, get down to trusted review websites like BritainReviews to see what past and current customers say about the brand. Customer reviews can tell you many things about how your vendors prepare their food, package, and deliver it than any other source.
Order in Bulk
Your risk of contracting COVID-19 increases with increased frequency of exposure. As such, you will do well to have a list of food items you will need for a month and order once. Not only will you save money this way, but you also will prevent getting in regular contact with food delivery agents. You can check BritainReviews for brands that sell cheap meals for large families and buy in bulk.
Embrace Contactless Delivery
The majority of the risks associated with buying food online comes from having contact with the delivery agent whose status you may not know. So, to be on a safe side, have a secure place, they can deliver your order while you go and pick it up later. Instead of settling payments on delivery, consider making payments earlier, as this is safe with many trustworthy online sellers. The more you can avoid physical contact with your food delivery agent, the better for you.
Wash Your Hands Before and After Taking Delivery
One sanitary measure to stay safe while shopping online is regular hand washing. While it's not clear whether one can contract coronavirus via food, it's possible to get your hands infected while handling. So, to avoid using the same hand on your face or nose, wash it off immediately with soap and running water.
Safely Dispose of the Packaging Materials
How you handle the materials used in packing your food can also tell on your chance to contract this virus. It's not appropriate to leave them carelessly around the house because viruses, in general, are known to survive several hours even outside of their living hosts. As such, make sure you burn those packaging materials or dispose of them far away from where you live.
So, What's the Bottom Line?
If you can, you can take advantage of being too much time at home and cook healthy meals with Superfood ingredients. But if you can't, ensure that you research your preferred local food vendors and take appropriate safety measures such as those we suggest in this piece. Not everyone can do the cooking, and while many of our best places to eat are partly operating, we all can help ensure that we end this common enemy by playing our parts.