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'Can I Get COVID From Sharing Food (or Drinks)?'

friends sharing food
By Elizabeth Hanes, BSN, RNAugust 26, 2020
From the WebMD Archives

One of the joys of eating at a restaurant (outdoors, of course) is sharing an appetizer with your dining partner. But should you? Can you get COVID-19 from sharing food (or drinks)?

Ordering a large, bubbling dish of artichoke dip may sound appealing, but even if nobody “double-dips,” you should avoid it. Because, yes, you might be able to get COVID-19 from sharing food and drinks.

Lots of germs – including the virus that causes COVID-19 – can be present in saliva, so if an infected person bites into that chip and then dips it into the creamy artichoke concoction, they definitely introduce bacteria and viruses into the dip for everyone to share. Gross!

What if you don’t double-dip? Can you still get COVID-19 from sharing an appetizer if everyone behaves in a civilized fashion?

Theoretically, merely breathing onto the dip (or salsa or…any food whatsoever) could transfer viruses and bacteria to the food. So, it’s possible you could transmit the coronavirus that way, but it’s not likely.

By the way, you also shouldn’t sip from somebody else’s straw or from their beverage. An infected person can deposit the coronavirus on the end of a straw or the lip of a glass – or you could possibly slurp up germs in the beverage itself. Also, don’t rely on any alcohol in your wine or cocktail to kill germs that make their way into the drink. To destroy bacteria and viruses, the liquor would have to be at least 60% alcohol by volume (ABV), which is far stronger than red wine (around 12% ABV) or even vodka (usually about 40% ABV).

Bottom line? To stay safe from COVID-19, skip the sharable appetizers, don’t share bites of food off your plate, and don’t sip from someone else’s beverage.





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