Food Safety

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.


It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.


In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.


Source:  CDC

Last Updated 04/10/2020 - 22:48

Have “no contact” delivery for food where the delivery person leaves the food outside.  Immediately remove food from carry bags and dispose of bags properly.

Last Updated 04/10/2020 - 22:47

The risk of infection from delivered foods and items is low but there are things you can do to lessen the risk:

  • Have no contact deliveries where items are left outside your home rather than handed to you directly.
  • Use gloves to unpack. Dispose of packaging immediately in the trash or recycle bin before taking off gloves.

For non-perishable items, leave them in the garage or other out of the way area until you need them.

Last Updated 04/10/2020 - 21:23

Most grocery stores are cleaning carts and other items/areas in the store but you should also take precautions.  It is fine to wipe down shopping carts but be sure to read and follow the instructions of the product you are using – some require up to 4 minutes on a surface to kill viruses.  The most important thing that you can do is do not touch your face and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you return from shopping.

Additional helpful hints for safe grocery shopping include:

  • Think through if you really need to…are the items on your list nice to have or need to have?
  • If you do need to go, go when there will likely be the least number of people in the store. 
  • If you are a senior citizen or have health issues, check with your store – they may have special hours for you when the fewest number of people will be there
  • Make a list and plan your route so you are not walking back and forth, and you limit the time you are there


Source: CDC, Sunset Magazine

Last Updated 05/08/2020 - 14:12

No.  Hospital cafeterias fall within the exemption for healthcare facilities and may remain open.  Hospital cafeterias must be structured to ensure six-foot minimum distancing between non-related individuals picking up food from or eating in the facility.  Hospital cafeterias should increase cleaning and sanitization to minimize risk of exposure and follow other Social Distancing Requirements specified in the Order to the maximum extent feasible.  Cafeterias in all other facilities must follow the requirements in the Order – specifically, food can be carried out or delivered, but cannot be eaten in the cafeteria.  

Last Updated 04/08/2020 - 12:45

COVID-19 has no impact on the safety of your drinking water. Marin's water supply is locally sourced, with the majority of it coming from protected watersheds. Your water is purified and routinely monitoried to ensure there are no viruses or pathogens. using modern treatment techniques to remove pathogens, including bacteria and viruses.

Last Updated 04/10/2020 - 22:47

Restaurants and food facilities should focus on food delivery, takeout, and outdoor dining. Marin County Environmental Health Services offers guidance for food facilities. Self-service operations are prohibited under the current Order. If your facility is offering take-out or delivery options, you should follow EHS's Environmental Health Service's website for additional updates as the Shelter In Place order continues.

Last Updated 06/25/2020 - 15:45