While meal delivery services offer convenience, many are concerned about the safety of the food delivered at your doorstep.
With more and more new delivery services are coming up, most people are moving from shopping at the grocery store and subscribing to meal delivery services. It is mainly because meal delivery services offer various dietary choices for you to choose from and ultimately save you from making trips to and fro the grocery store.
With the increased popularity of the meal delivery services, many are wondering about the negative impact those packages will have on the environment. Another itchy concern is the safety of the food during transit.
Whether a local service delivers your food or ship to you, it should be kept at the right temperatures (40 °F) to avoid invasion by germs that could cause illness.
But how will I know this?
Before subscribing to your meal delivery service, you should do thorough research about your prospective delivery company. Ask as many questions as you can from friends and families that have engaged with such companies in the past.
Research online about those companies and also call customer care to inquire about their food safety standards. It will be much helpful, especially when ordering food for persons with a weak immune system like pregnant women, children under five or adults aged 65 and above.
Ask what actions the company would take in case the food delivered is not safe for consumption.
Once you’ve identified your meal delivery service, now you can proceed and make your order. However, make sure that there is someone at home to pick the food and keep it in the fridge as soon as it is delivered instead of being left outside.
If you will not be at home and can’t find someone to pick it for you, you can find a safe place for your delivery. Your food should be delivered in a cool and secure place where neither rodents nor pests can access it. Inform your delivery company where to leave your kit in advance.
What to Do After Receiving Your Delivery
Once you’ve received your delivery, examine the packaging and the box. If you ordered perishable food such as poultry, eggs, seafood or dairy, look for information about refrigeration. Ensure your meal delivery service uses packages and materials that are insulated like the frozen gel packs to keep the food cold during transportation.
To ensure your food remain safe, keep your delivery in the fridge as soon as possible. Keeping your food at higher temperatures (typically above 40 °F) in a duration exceeding two hours can lead to multiplication of bacteria.
Once your delivery arrives, use a food thermometer to measure the temperatures of the food. If your shipment arrives at a temperature above 40 °F, notify the company immediately. Don’t eat that food or taste. Food can smell, taste, and look okay but remain unsafe.
Regardless of whether your delivery is vacuumed-packed, smoked, or fully cooked, it must be kept cold.
Handle Your Delivery Safely
Regardless of how safe your delivery company delivers your meal, if you don’t handle your food safely, you will be in danger of having food poisoning.
Ensure that your hands and utensils are clean. Also, before, during, and after handling any food, use soap and clean water to wash your hands. Ensure your countertops, cutting boards and utensils are clean before using them and also clean them after use.
Before preparing your vegetables and fruits, rinse them with clean running water.
I would also recommend separating your foods to prevent them from cross-contamination. You can do this by keeping poultry, raw meat, eggs, and seafood separate from other foods. When preparing these ingredients, be sure to use different cutting boards.
Whether your home delivered food was delivered cold or refrigerated, you should reheat it at a temperature of about 165°F. However, remember to cover and rotate the container when heating your food at that temperature to avoid ‘’cold spots’’ that can keep bacteria.
Be sure to handle your food safely to avoid disease-causing bacteria and ensure it is safe for human consumption.