Food delivery and take out options has been around for sometime solely for the purpose of customer convenience. In today’s reality the purpose of food delivery and take out has been altered, more than for convenience it is deemed to be the safest way to order and consume food.  The availability of food delivery options during this COVID-19 pandemic helps in sustaining so many food businesses, while many delivery service providers flourish.

In the midst of it, there are growing concerns of food safety that needs to be addressed when it comes to food delivery. Although there is currently no evidence that the disease associated with the novel corona virus is transmitted through food, the risks posed by other pathogens can be exacerbated if things go wrong during delivery.

As a food service / food delivery service provider, here are number of things you need to take into consideration in order to ensure food safety apart from following the standard food handling procedure:

  1. The right temperature – Food needs to be kept at the right temperature, after preparation and during transport. Use an insulated bags or ice box to “keep cold food cold and hot food hot” during delivery.
  2. Proper packaging material – Pack the foods in an appropriate packaging materials that can last the entire delivery duration. Often times, paper packages can leak or tear off when not handled properly or gets soggy from liquid food after some extended period. This leads to contamination and a huge food safety risk.
  3. Delivery duration – Ensure the delivery of the prepared food reach consumers within a maximum of an hour. The longer the food is exposed to external environment and temperature, the more challenging it is to regulate the temperature of the food.
  4. Practice best hand hygiene – Food handlers and delivery personnel should frequently wash or sanitize their hand while handling food packages. They should also wash their hands after each and every delivery to impede germ transmission.
  5. Clean & disinfect frequently – Delivery vehicles especially the food carrier boxes needs to be cleaned and disinfected regularly using a suitable cleaner and disinfectant to ensure hygiene and prevent any possible food contamination.

As a consumer- We definitely have to look out for our own safety and so make sure to do all of this:

  • Order food and make sure to be there to receive it – Order only when you know there’s at least someone to receive it, rather than let it sit outside on your porch waiting for your return.
  • Inspect quality – Check through your food parcel once received to see if there is any sign of damages on the package, or even spilling to ensure there is no risk of contamination.
  • Reheat or refrigerate – If you happen to receive your food later than expected, make sure to reheat or refrigerate it before consuming. It is always best to eat hot food hot and cold food cold. Keep that in mind.

Adapting to the new normal is the only way to deal with this pandemic, right? So be sure to adjust and assimilate these sets of new normal into your life as well. Opting for food delivery or takeout from your favorite restaurant should be hassle free and convenient as it always has been. A few basic precautionary steps in mind can go a long way in assuring the safety of your food.

SHARMILA KRISHNAMOORTHY

Author SHARMILA KRISHNAMOORTHY

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