With restaurants still open in Pennsylvania, albeit with restrictions, patrons should be aware of the facts about COVID-19 and how it pertains to dining out.

When dining out, patrons trust that restaurant staff has taken all necessary precautions to ensure a safe experience for customers. Restaurants are bound by strict food handling and cleanliness regulations and undergo periodic inspections to make sure they are in compliance. Many restaurants also post their health grades in visible places for patrons to see. Despite the best health practices and ramped-up sanitation in recent months, some individuals may still have concerns about whether COVID-19 can be transmitted through the handling or consumption of restaurant fare.

To set the record straight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Government of Canada note that the risk of getting COVID-19 from food handled or consumed from restaurants and takeout meals is believed to be very low. Currently, there is no evidence that food is associated with the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Similarly, the risk of infection from food products, food packaging or bags is also thought to be very low. No cases have been identified where infection originated by handling food-related items or shopping bags.

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