One of the hottest new trends this year are pre-packaged meal kits that are delivered straight to your door. While these companies advertise convenience, fresh ingredients, delicious meals, and little to no hassle, it’s also important to consider food safety when ordering any one of these meal kit delivery services.
While you are researching what meal kit delivery company is best for you, there are also several things to keep in mind when it comes to thinking about food safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends calling the company’s customer service department to inquire about their food safety standards.
You can also inquire about how the company handles food being delivered at an unsafe temperature or in a condition that makes it inedible. You can arrange for your food to be delivered when someone is at your home, allowing the food to be put directly in your refrigerator instead of having it sit on your doorstep until you get home. This can reduce the time your food sits outside, ultimately reducing risk of food being exposed to bacteria.
The CDC recommends that upon delivery, you take a close look at your box and examine the packaging. Be sure there is no damage or any leaks inside of your box. When your box arrives at your door, you’ll also want to refrigerate or freeze your delivery as soon as possible. If your food arrives at a temperature of 40° F or higher, notify the company you ordered the meal kit from and do not eat any of the food.
When preparing your meal, it’s also important to be cognizant of how you prepare your food. Always wash your hands and kitchen utensils before you begin handling food. When handling fresh fruit and vegetables, always rinse them under running water before preparing them for your meal. You’ll also want to get your leftovers into your refrigerator within 2 hours of preparing your meal to reduce risk of bacteria contaminating your food.
The CDC has the following recommendations for general food delivery service food safety:
-Don’t sign up for a subscription service if your schedule doesn’t allow you to promptly refrigerate your delivery
-When unpacking your delivery, check the temperatures on the contents of your delivery
-Cook your meal using safe food temperatures
Taking the measures to ensure you are safely preparing and consuming food will help prevent the chance of you or a loved one contracting a foodborne illness. If you are or a loved one are starting to show signs of a foodborne illness, contact your primary care physician immediately.