14 Key Takeaways Regarding Food Delivery amid Corona
Food Delivery amid Corona
Food delivery is a courier service done by either a restaurant, a store, or any other food delivery company, which entails delivering food staff to customers.
Orders are made by phone calls, through the company's website, and/or through independent food ordering companies.
Some of the food staff delivered include sides, drinks, entrees, desserts, or grocery items which can be delivered in either bags or boxes.
The foods are delivered through delivery persons which could drive to your home or use motorcycles or bikes.
The service can be paid online, through credit cards or in cash, according to the regulations of the food delivery company. A delivery fee is also charged relative to the food materials delivered.
In some cases, the restaurant charges no delivery fees for nearby locations and a small fee according to the distance.
As the world struggles to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of programs have changed. This is as a result of government regulations such as social distancing, high hygiene standards, and lockdowns.
As a result, food delivery has been affected by the regulations, just as other industries and workplaces across the world.
It is very important to maintain high hygiene standards while delivering food to avoid passing the infection from one person to another through foodstuffs.
In the United Kingdom, for instance, the government has shared the necessary information on how restaurants and other food companies should operate in these critical times.
Delivery companies dealing with food such as restaurants and shops that have opted to offer services as usual must followall safety guidelines while transporting food.
First, they must deliver the food as ordered by the buyer, either cold or hot.Next, they should ensure workers are not getting in contact with the customers.
There are several institutions such as the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health offering guidelines on how to ensure that food delivery service is secure for both the workers and their clients.
These guidelines are important and should be considered when distributing foods to clients. You should also be conversant with the government guidelines for food businesses as regards to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
These foodstuff delivery guidelines are important for every person in the food handling chain. These people include the cooks, packagers, the drivers or delivery persons, and the consumers.
14 Key Takeaways Regarding Foodstuff Delivery amid Corona.
Here are the key takeaways regardingmeal delivery according to the many governments dealing with both foods delivery and take away foods across the world:
- Transmission of COVID-19 via Food Is Unlikely
- General Food Delivery Safety Considerations
- Packing and Transit of Food Deliveries during COVID-19
- Ensuring Courier Safety & Food Safety during Delivery
- Treat Drivers as Food Handlers
- Establish Food Safety at Pick Up & Drop Off
- Maintain Tamper Proof Seals For Food Deliveries
- Make Your Customers Aware Of Food Risks: Allergens & COVID-19
- Communicate That You Are Following Food Safety Guidelines
- Update Your Cooking Process Guidelines
- Ensure Staff Follow Government Guidance on Food Prep & Cleaning
- Clean Surfaces More Often
- Ensure Staff Are Maintaining Social Distancing
- Store & Wash Staff Uniforms Safely
Transmission of COVID-19 via Food Is Unlikely.
COVID-19 disease is commonly transmitted when the virus moves from an infected person to a healthy person, through either coughing, sneezing, kissing, among other ways.
It is very unlikely that after observing the given measures from both the government and the WHO, that you contract COVID-19 disease via food staff.
It is now known that the virus can stay on hard surfaces such as wood, plastic, and metal for about three days. This is the reason washing hands thoroughly with soap is very important.
The same hygiene should be practiced when dealing with food materials to avoid transmitting the disease to the clients.
Your checkout needs to prompt customers to identify themselves as self- isolating, during because everyone is required to stay at home with the exclusion of only essential service providers.
This is because even though everyone is in self-quarantine, there are a few who have been self-isolated due to the possibility of having contracted the disease.
For more safety, it will be good if you include an option that will allow the customer to choose whether they are under the self-isolation program or not. This can be done through the comment box where the client can be asked such a question for clarification.
In such cases, the drivers or the delivery personnel should not get into contact with the client, but instead, they should call or send a text message when the food has been delivered in the doorstep.
General Food Delivery Safety Considerations.
One of the biggest reasons we have food safety guidelines during these times is to avoid food poisoning.
This food poisoning could be as a result of bacteria like the Food poisoning is caused by bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella, or any related virus-like the norovirus.
The effects of these bacteria and viruses are mild in most cases, but they can be life-threatening to babies (both young and unborn) and any other person with a weak immune, such as the elderly and expectant women.
As you are aware, bacteria can easily grow and at a rapid rate in certain conditions, therefore care is very important from food processing, food handling, food storage, when serving the food, as well as during food transportation to avoid contamination.
These are the common conditions in which bacteria thrive easily, and they should be avoided at all times.
- Time – the period over which the food was cooked, and the time after the food was prepared or processed up to the delivery time.
- Temperature – if food must be chilled below 5°C then so be it. Food that hasn’t reheated thoroughly it is not good for consumption.
- Germs – germs can come from food handling or contamination. Proper hygienein your workplace can help you avoid germs.
You notice that all these dangers can be easily controlled by simply following the standard food handling guidelines given by several governmental and international organizations such as the World Health Organization.
You can also have your staff attend an online training to ensure that they are equipped with the right information. Research further into magazines and articles related to food handling amid the current pandemic such as the "Food safety, storage, and waste in commercial kitchens."
After you’vedone your part and prepared food safely and hygienically, always ensure that the stays safe throughout transit until it reaches the client.
Packing and Transit of Food Deliveries during COVID-19.
The first thing to do is to ensure that hot food is never packed with cold food. Packingthe two together will obviously mess up the order.
This is also dangerous because you may be cooling the hot meal and exposing it to the risks of contamination. Remember, cold food can be a breeding ground for germs.
Becauseall of us are expectedto observe proper hygiene, it is recommended that food deliveries should entail cooked food only. This will ensure that customers receive ready for consumptions food only, rather than cooking at home hence minimizing the infection risk.
The hot food should be kept at 63°C or above while the cold food being at 8°C and below. To effectively maintain these temperatures, you will have to transport the foods separately.
If you use materials such as ice packs, insulated bags and boxes to maintain food temperatures amidcoronavirus then it is advisable to do a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the materials before and after use.
To ensure food always arrives in good in good, sell only to nearby places that you can reach within 30 minutes or less. Periodic temperature checks and keeping a good record will help you in achieving the required standards.
Use Food Delivery Packaging That Is COVID-19 Safe: Clean & Disposable.
Packagingwas a bone of contention even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Packing food in a clean material suitable for human consumption has been the norm in food transit. Andnow, it must be a priority if you are advancing from a shop or a restaurant to food delivery during the lockdown period.
We all know that the world is going through hard times right now, which is coupled with an increase in food demand, unnecessary wrapping, industrial waste, and single-use plastic.
In food delivery, wrapping with the correct package will keepmeals at the right temperature and ensure it reaches the customer in safe state. It is advisable to use packages that can be disposed after use, rather than returnable containers, during the Coronavirus period.
You should ensure that the food packaging material does not have adverse effects on the environment. There are fantastic biodegradable food packaging and take away food cutlery offered by eco brands such as vegware and biopac.
Even though this could be a little bit expensive, it will help in saving the planet as you offer the best services to your clients in these critical times.
The lockdown has been initiated to limit possible transmission due to the movement of people. You should ensure that your movement is limited as well to boost the efforts initiated by the government to control COVID-19 infection.
Ensure that your deliveries are done in nearby areas, most preferably within the town you are located in. The food delivery point should never go past a 30-minute drive for the safety of your workers.
It is very important to ensure that you don't operate in a wide area that will challenge your operations. Delivering a stone-throw away will ensure that your foods always arrive in perfect state.
First, you’ll keep temperatures to control and limitexposure to the germs and/ or mechanical damage from lumps and bumps. Foods such as meat, dairy products, shellfish, and eggs should be transported will a lot of care.
You already understand the critical role of in this business, and especially with the current situations. Insist that your courier deliver the food in insulated and sealed state.This kind of packaging is important in keeping the food safe during dirty and fumy traffic.
Ensuring Courier Safety & Food Safety during Delivery.
There are no regulations or rules put in place about foodstuff delivery couriers regarding food safety. Go the extra mile to ensure your food delivery drivers and riders follow all safety regulations.
Treat Drivers as Food Handlers
Delivery personnel such as riders and drivers are not in most cases trained for food safety and the dangers of tampering with the food.
However, it is good to ensure that your riders and drivers have the necessary information regarding food handling and are well aware of safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ensure that all delivery persons are observing the social distance and proper hygiene as recommended by health officials when handling food. Also, ensure your drivers carry alcohol-based sanitizers—with over 60 % alcohol.
And lastly,test and confirm the coronavirus status of your drivers. Drivers and motorists suspected to have contracted the disease should not be allowed to deliver.
Establish Food Safety at Pick Up& Drop Off.
Always try to operate in risk-free zones. Your delivery team shouldwork with the kitchen or the packaging team, to reduce risks in case one gets infected. This will also improve food hygiene.
If the teams meet either deliberately or accidentally, let the people involved sanitize and clean their hands thoroughly with soap.
For takeaway customers, ensure that a cashless payment system is established for the sake of hygiene because the virus is suspected to spread throughpaper money. This can be achieved by accepting only takeaway orders done online, or establish a contactless payment method.
When the delivery arrives, thedriver and carrier should leave the package at the customer's doorstep, other than meeting with the customer one on one. The customer can be notified through a phone call, a text message, or a bell.
Maintain Tamper Proof Seals for Food Deliveries.
You can choose to use this on your packaging service, or ensure that your courier offers it. This will ensure food safety and satisfy your customers better.
Make Your Customers Aware of Food Risks: Allergens & COVID-19.
It is very important to indicate when your food was prepared, and give your customers suggestions on storage and reheating if it is needed. This will show that you are confident with what you are offering, committed to your work, and responsible. Your customers will develop more trust for your foods.
This is very simple yet important point. It can be easily done by adding a leaflet to your package with lots of info describing your company, services, and giving information about the food. The leaflet should include food storage and reheating recommendations.
Communicate That You Are Following Food Safety Guidelines.
Ensure that your company's website has clear and easy-to-access information. Explain what you are doing to adhere to the guidelines given by the government, as well as protect your customers from contracting COVID-19.
Everyone is concerned about anything that could potentiallypass on the virus. You can be sure your customers want to know what you are doing to keep them and your staff safe.
This is because if your staff members are at risk of contracting the disease, then your customers will be at risk as well.
You can use notifications to give info about your deliveries and any changes in your system, such as whether you are allowing in-person orders, and take away orders.
Update Your Cooking Process Guidelines.
During this time, ensure that you have an updated version of your Food Safety Management System, reflecting all the necessary changes in the cooking process, packaging process, and delivery process.
Ensure Staff Follow Government Guidance on Food Prep & Cleaning.
Ensure that everyone in your company is well conversant with the knowledge and skills they needto avoid food contamination.
Strong and outstanding food safety including codes of conduct and ethics will win you more trust from your clients.
Ensure that your customers are also reached by flood risk awareness information. This will help them handle the food properly after it has been delivered. They will also appreciate the efforts that you are putting in place to protect them and their food.
Clean Surfaces More Often.
Hygiene accompanies everything you do at this time. Establish rules that ensure that your workers are cleaning the surfaces in your workplace time and again. Surfaces such as door handles, tables, the door push plates, hand towels, mops, and brooms, must be cleaned at all times.
The surfaces should also be cleaned before closing and when you open in the morning. It is important to ensure that nothing is done before cleaning. Use sanitizers that meet the requirements given by the government.
Ensure Staff Keep Social Distance.
Limiting physical contact is the global message for everyone, with some companies advising their workers to avoid handshakes and hugs while at work.
Ensure that your staff members are adhering to the social distance regulations while at work. Keeping a 2 meters distance is a practice your workers should now be used to.
Keeping distance is important because an individual can be infected and fail to show the symptoms for quite some time and staying to close to them could lead to exposure.
Because the social distance rule must be obeyed, it is important to arrange your workplace to meet these new spacing requirements.
"The idea right now is to practice social distancing, so that if you work with someone who is sick, you're not within 6 feet of them," according to Dr. Cioe-Pena of Northwell Health. "Employers were a little slow on the uptake, butmany of big employers have made this move and it has helped us control corona so far.
Store & Wash Staff Uniforms Safely.
Cooks and packagersmust not share the uniforms and should wear clean clothing at all times. For that reason, every staff must have more than one pair of uniform.
If the clothes cannot be cleaned immediately after work, they should be stored in a safe place (a box or a container) until they are washed.
Wash your hands always.
Wash your hands time and again, with soap and warm water. It is also advisable to use running water while rinsing the hands to minimize the chances of leaving the virus in the hands after washing.
According to Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena, the director of global health at Northwell Health, hand washing is the most important thing you can do to prevent yourself from any disease in the workplace, COVID-19 included.
"In the case of COVID-19, the major route of transmission is going to be touching surfaces that someone has coughed or sneezed on and then touching your face. So washing your hands all the time is your best defense strategy," says Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena.
CDC recommends that you wash your hands for 20 seconds, butyou can do it longer than that.
We need to rethink our food deliverypractices in the COVID-19 era where contact is a no-no and, cleanliness must be maintained.
Hygiene and food safety must be practiced from the person preparing the food to the meal, and to thepackaging material.
That is to sayfood hygiene doesn’t end when the food package leaves your company, rather it proceeds until delivery and beyond. Remember, until the package reaches the customer, it is still in the custody of the company.
And even after reaching the customer, your company is responsible for any resulting health issues tied to your products.
For that reason, you need to offer food safety information to ensure the food remains safeeven after delivery.