Take It Home Safety Guidelines

Keeping each other safe

The goal is to minimize contact between staff and consumers and provide safety guidelines for the public and kitchens to use while handling carryout food. Please note, these are all suggestions for safe food handling. Please refer to the CDC for updated guidelines.

Suggestions for ordering safe take-out:

  • When picking up food to go or curbside, practice “contactless” pick up.
  • Prepay for all orders online or over the phone by giving credit card information.
  • Ask to add gratuity if it isn’t already included. If you must sign a credit card receipt upon pick up, bring your own pen.
  • If using a communal pen, the restaurant should offer disinfectant wipes that have an alcohol percentage higher than 60 percent.
  • Restaurants should also offer readily available hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the building. Do not pay or tip with cash.
  • Restaurant workers need to have a counter or table to put the bag of food down on so guests can pick up without touching employees or coming within six feet of employees or other people.
  • No direct contact should occur at any time for the safety of restaurant workers and consumers.
  • If a line has formed of customers, please remember to stay at least six feet away from all other people.

Additional suggestions for customers:

  • Take to-go food home immediately.
  • Do not try to eat the food in the dining room of the restaurant.
  • Upon arriving home, wash your hands.
  • Transfer food to your personal dishes.
  • Wash your hands after handling to-go containers.
  • If your food is served in plastic containers, you can use warm soapy water or disinfectant wipes on the exterior of the container.
  • Dispose of all to-go containers and bags as soon as possible.

Updated guidelines for restaurants and restaurant workers:

  • Wear and change gloves frequently throughout every step of service. Change gloves between handling food and touching kitchen equipment, doors, handles, etc.
  • Wash hands frequently. Hand washing should continue to remain a top priority. Wash hands every 30 minutes or anytime you leave your cooking station. Use an antibacterial hand sanitizer after washing hands as a precautionary action if available. After hand washing, employees need to dry hands off and turn off the faucet with a paper towel. Special note: do not use clean hands to turn off the faucet or use cloth linens or towels to dry hands.
  • Kitchen surfaces, especially hand sinks, handles, prep stations, and doorknobs need to be wiped down with disinfectant or EPA approved sanitizer at least every hour. A log should be created to document all practices with a two-person verification checklist.
  • Store to-go containers in protective plastic covers. Gloves should always be worn by employees when handling to-go containers. Limit the number of employees handling containers to as few staff as possible.
  • We recommend sending guests home with a small checklist of all precautions taken when assembling their carry out food. If supply allows, send all carryout orders with individually wrapped disinfectant wipes.
  • Minimize the number of menu items or begin serving family-style meals. Should the staff start needing to stay home, an easy to execute menu with fewer staff is important.
  • Use EPA approved sanitizer throughout the restaurant. Visit https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-againstsars-cov-2 to find the current list of products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
  • Management needs to check in with every staff member each day regarding their health before commuting to work. Any employee with a reported fever or illness must stay home and not enter the workplace. Offer paid sick time off, if available.
  • All ADA-approved employers can temperature-test employees at the restaurant. Please follow this link for more information, as it is frequently updating. If you are unsure as to whether your restaurant is an ADA-approved employer, consult a lawyer or call this helpline before administering a test. EEOC : 1-800-669-4000 https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/wysk/wysk_ada_rehabilitaion_act_coronavirus.cfm
  • Kitchen staff should utilize surgical masks while preparing food, if available.


This information was last updated March 20, 2020