21 May, 2020
Our relationship with dining out has changed as fear and anxiety of getting infected with corona virus is on a rise. Then there is also concerns about safety and hygiene maintained by the restaurant staff and delivery boys. We have not witnessed this in a hundred years and we are therefore not mentally and physically prepared to deal with this issue. Maadhuri R Sharma, a certified nutritionist discusses whether dining out will be the new phobia.
Maadhuri feels that dining out will be questionable till the vaccine for prevention of Covid-19 is developed. Human beings have a short lived memory and life will move on for some, while others may take time to get back to the new normal of life, especially with eating out. The new normal will be a new set of hygiene standards to be followed by restaurants – contactless delivery and contactless payment options. We will probably never go back to the old ways of eating lavishly at restaurants, hanging out with friends and family, while enjoying the ambiance for hours together.
Despite the strict health and safety standards by a very well known restaurant, a kitchen staff was recently tested Covid positive and the restaurant had to shut down the newly opened delivery system. Employees of an online delivery service too tested positive across metropolitan cities in India. This has created a scare among customers and most of us have been resorting to eating home cooked meals.
Maadhuri feels it is a great time to detox and eat home cooked meals. Even fancy gourmet meals can be prepared at home. There may be a temptation to order food from restaurants, but under these circumstances where the kitchen staff or delivery staff maybe asymptomatic, there is always a risk of catching the infection.
Here are guidelines for precaution that the restaurants have been adhering to at present:
1) Vendors’ and delivery boys’ temperature is checked at the eateries itself with contactless thermometers.
2) Handwashing stations have been set up at restaurants for the staff, vendors and delivery boys who enter the kitchen..
3) There are alarms in kitchen for handwashing, gloves change, and sanitising the kitchen every few hours.
4) No one except the staff are allowed to enter the premises.
5) All food ingredients are sanitised and washed with baking soda and salt before cooking.
6) Gloves are used for cooking, packing and delivery handling.
7) Contactless delivery is offered.
8) Upon receiving the food delivery, the customer should cut open the paper bag and discard it. Wash hands and then proceed to opening the food containers.