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Face masks and food: tips to eat and drink without compromising safety

Face masks and food: tips to eat and drink without compromising safety

2020 has been the year of face masks. We've all become familiar with the routine of wearing masks to protect ourselves and others from the spread of COVID-19. But what happens when it's time to eat or drink? Can we still enjoy our favorite foods and beverages while keeping ourselves safe? The answer is yes, but it requires some extra precautions and a little bit of creativity.

Choose the right mask

Not all masks are created equal when it comes to eating and drinking. Some masks, like N95 respirators, may be too restrictive and can make it difficult to breathe while enjoying a meal. Instead, opt for a cloth mask that covers your nose and mouth securely but allows for better airflow. Look for masks that are made of breathable materials like cotton or linen.

Take mask breaks

Eating and drinking with a mask on can be a bit of a challenge. That's why it's important to take mask breaks when you're in a safe and socially distanced environment. Find a designated spot where you can remove your mask and enjoy your meal without putting yourself or others at risk. Remember to maintain proper hand hygiene before and after taking off your mask.

Keep your distance

Social distancing is still crucial, even when you're enjoying a meal. Make sure to maintain a safe distance from others while you're eating or drinking. If you're dining out, choose a restaurant that follows strict safety protocols and offers outdoor seating options. And if you're having a meal at home with friends or family, try to space out your seating arrangement to ensure everyone keeps a safe distance.

Choose the right food and beverages

While you may be craving that juicy burger or a refreshing cocktail, it's important to choose your food and beverages wisely to minimize the risk of contamination. Opt for foods that are easy to eat with utensils or your hands, rather than foods that require you to remove your mask frequently. Similarly, choose beverages that can be sipped slowly, instead of drinks that require you to remove your mask entirely.

Practice proper hand hygiene

Before you dig into your meal or take a sip of your drink, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Remember to sanitize your hands again after eating or drinking, especially if you had to touch any surfaces or objects.

Be mindful of your surroundings

When you're out and about, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take note of any potential risks. Avoid crowded places and choose well-ventilated areas whenever possible. If you're dining in a restaurant, pay attention to the safety measures implemented by the establishment, such as the availability of hand sanitizers, the cleanliness of the tables, and the adherence to social distancing guidelines.

Get creative with mask-friendly meals

Eating and drinking with a mask on can be a little tricky, but it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your favorite foods. Get creative and try mask-friendly meals that are easy to eat while keeping your mask on. Think of dishes like wraps, sandwiches, or bowls that can be enjoyed without having to remove your mask frequently. And don't forget to savor every bite!

Stay informed and follow guidelines

The situation surrounding COVID-19 is constantly evolving, so it's essential to stay informed and follow the guidelines provided by health authorities. Stay up to date with the latest recommendations on mask usage, social distancing, and dining safety. By staying informed and following the guidelines, you can continue to enjoy your meals while keeping yourself and others safe.

Conclusion: Dine with caution, but don't forget to enjoy

Eating and drinking in the era of face masks may require some extra precautions, but it doesn't mean you can't still enjoy your meals. By choosing the right mask, taking mask breaks, maintaining social distance, practicing proper hand hygiene, and being mindful of your surroundings, you can dine safely without compromising your safety. So, go ahead, savor that delicious meal, and remember to stay cautious while still finding joy in the simple pleasure of food.

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