It’s more important than ever to support our local restaurants as quarantine continues. And, it’s absolutely safe to do so.

The Alabama Department of Public Health says, as of right now, food hasn’t been a determined source for contracting COVID-19. Read more about the department’s food safety guidelines here.

“I am disheartened that so many people feel unsafe ordering takeout from restaurants,” said Ford Hamilton, president of locally distributor, Wood Fruittcher Foodservice.“ As I see pictures of empty grocery stores and long lines at checkout counters, I can’t help but think that it has to be just as safe to buy dinner from the door of a restaurant or a drive-through as it is going into a supermarket with other shoppers.”

Dining establishments have ServSafe strict guidelines they follow, even under regular circumstances. The National Restaurant Association developed the ServSafe program to educate food service workers on safety protocols.

“Restaurants are required to have one employee on duty at all times that is ServSafe-certified,” Hamilton said. “For years, people working in restaurants have been practicing safety measures similar to the ones we are all now practicing to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

There are more than 150 establishments offering curbside and pick-up options in the city, according to Bham Now’s database.

B’ham Now’s local business database

Former Big Pitch finalist Zebbie Carney is a longtime REV client whose business, Eugene’s Hot Chicken, is doubling down on its food truck routes to make sure Birmingham has its hot chicken fix. The popular red truck has been out all over the metro area this week serving its full menu curbside. It’s now offering $40 family-style meals.

“When I say Bham has gotten behind us, it’s been a blessing,” Eugene’s owner Zebbie Carney said. “Birmingham IS strong.”

Even local breweries are working to offer customers safe ways to get their favorite beer. Eric Meyer of Cahaba Brewing is planning to partner with local food trucks to make it a one-stop-shop for those looking to pick up beer and food. He encourages residents to keep shopping local.

“If you have a solid job that’s still paying you, please go out and support local breweries,” he said. “If we don’t, they’re going to be gone.”

Buying local food and drinks is only part of the equation. Shopping at places like Harvest Market downtown also supports the cause.

The store receives shipments throughout the week, making staples items easier to find there than at some of the chain grocery stores.

Whether it’s picking up takeout or shopping the store aisles, Hamilton says that Birmingham residents shouldn’t fear while trying to feed themselves.

“I have no doubt that the employees in our supermarkets also practice safe food handling and I have confidence in their ability to keep me safe while shopping, he said. “I have just as much confidence in a restaurant’s ability to prepare my meal and deliver it to me at my car window or their front door. And, I don’t have to be in a building with more than 25 people!

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