Meal kit delivery services and online supermarket shopping have become the norm for many households in New Zealand. While food deliveries are super convenient, it is important to consider safe food handling and delivery procedures to preserve the quality of the food, and importantly, to prevent food poisoning. Here are some useful points to consider when ordering home-delivered food and meal kits:
-Research the company prior to ordering. What are their food safety protocols? What are their company policies around the standard of food once delivered? How will the food be packaged and transported? Do they use sustainable packaging?
-Food needs to be stored at a safe temperature. Check that the company uses insulated packaging and frozen gel packs. You could request that meat is stored separately from other foods.
-With the warmer weather approaching, ensure to arrange for the delivery to arrive when someone is at home so that the food can be refrigerated right away. If you can’t be home, could the delivery be sent to your workplace or perhaps a friend or neighbour could unpack and store the delivery for you?
-Let the company know where you would like the delivery to be left. Pick a safe, cool, shaded spot away from animals/pests. Ensure you are signed up to email/text notification so you are aware exactly when your food has been delivered.
-Once your order has arrived, check that the food hasn’t been damaged or that there isn’t anything missing.
-Unpack the food right away and follow storage instructions such as “keep frozen” or “keep refrigerated”. If frozen food has partially thawed do not refreeze. Rinse any fruit and vegetables under cold water and store.
-If reusable bags have been used, make sure that they are clean and in good condition to reuse again.
-If you have any concerns that the food is unsafe to eat - don’t eat the food. If in doubt - throw it out!