You may not be spending the holidays with your loved ones this year (bah humbug!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t send them tidings of comfort and joy in the form of fresh-from-the-oven baked goods!
Whether your family and friends live across the street or across town, we’re sharing how to safely prepare, package and deliver signature cookies
, breads, cakes, cobblers
and pies while socially distancing.
Remember, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) all maintain that COVID-19
does not appear to be a foodborne illness. Therefore, there’s very little risk in showing your love with homemade holiday treats—as long as you wear a mask
, maintain social distance and avoid prolonged contact when delivering the deliciousness. So, you’d better grab the traditional
or gluten-free flour
because it’s time to get baking!
Preparing your baked goods
Practicing good hygiene, like washing your hands
with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before, during and after preparing your tasty treats, and disinfecting utensils, cutting boards, countertops and cooking surfaces, is always a must. Also be sure to wash any fruits and vegetables
, and if you plan to go the savory route with seafood, poultry and/or meats, you can help prevent foodborne illness by:
- Storing ingredients at proper temperatures
- Using separate cutting boards to avoid cross contamination
- Cooking creations to correct temperatures
- Refrigerating perishable treats promptly (within two hours)
And even though there’s no evidence indicating that coronavirus has been spread through food or its packaging, it’s still smart to avoid preparing and sharing goodies with others if you are feeling under the weather. See symptoms of COVID-19
Packing your tasty treats
You may have heard that coronavirus can live on certain surfaces (e.g., cardboard, plastic) for two to three days. But not to worry! “Currently, no cases of COVID-19 have been identified where infection was thought to have occurred by touching food, food packaging or shopping bags,” according to the CDC
So, feel free to cloak your homemade cookies, blondies, brownies, tarts and more in festive plastic wrap, decorative holiday tins or traditional glass cookware, or check out these creative packaging ideas
. Just keep in mind that it’s always wise (and courteous) to wash your hands or don a pair of clean gloves when handling any baked goods that you’re gifting—and to avoid coughing and sneezing on your pretty packaging.
Sharing your culinary creations
Now comes the most important part—spreading the love, not the virus. The safest way to pass along your delicious delights is to wash your hands prior to handling them, set them on your loved one’s doorstep with a thoughtful note and walk away. You can even video chat them as you make your graceful exit.
But if you simply feel overcome by the urge to see the recipient(s) in person, put on your mask
(even if you’re outdoors, it can’t hurt), set the food down and back away so you are maintaining a safe distance of at least six feet. And try to keep your visit brief because the longer you stay, the greater the chance of potential exposure for everyone.
We wish you a happy, healthy and delicious holiday season!