COVID-19 is keeping many from traveling to see friends and family for the holidays, but you can be there in spirit by sending your special homemade fudge to your mom or cookies to your favorite niece.

According to Londa Nwadike, extension food safety specialist for the University of Missouri and Kansas State University:

“Everyone likes to get gifts of food, especially homemade or specialty foods.”

Nwadike goes on to say when sending a food gift, pack it safely, mark it clearly and tell the recipient that it’s on the way.

Since you can't be with that special someone over the holidays this year, you may want the gift to be a surprise, you should notify the recipient and make sure someone will be home to receive it on the expected delivery date. That’s especially important for perishable items to ensure that your gifts don’t go to waste because they sat in a mailbox or on a porch too long.

Sending your blueberry preserves, special salsa or summer sausage may be even more meaningful this year than usual since we’ve been encouraged to be apart for months; it’s like sending a little part of you.

In an article from the University of Missouri Extension, Nwadike also reminds that the risk of getting COVID-19 from eating food or handling food and food packages is considered very low. It is always important, though, for everyone to use good food safety and COVID-prevention practices, including frequent hand-washing.

More information about food safety, including food preservation and produce safety, visit extension.missouri.edu/programs/food-safety.

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