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With the global spread of the novel Coronavirus, various places around the world have experienced lockdowns. As a result, many people resorted to ordering food delivery services. This delivery has to rely on set standards. Different countries have regulations for food delivery. Generally, customers expect better or at least equal online food delivery services, compared to getting the food physically.
Hygiene is what matters most in food delivery. The food should be clean; this starts at the food preparation stage. When preparing the food, the service company should ensure the highest level of cleanliness. Detergents and disinfectants should be used to clean all cooking apparatus.
When delivering the package, the apparatus used to store the food should be clean. This can be attained using sealed containers. The temperature in the container should be controlled to control the breeding of bacteria. The sealed containers also help prevent foreign objects from getting into contact with the food.
The staff preparing and delivering the food should also be healthy. Especially with the COVID- 19 pandemic, they should practice strict hygiene. This will help prevent cross-contamination. Besides, they should be well informed about food safety standards.
Food delivery companies should make sure they deliver exactly what the customer ordered and in the right quantities.
Customers expect to receive full information on the services offered by the food company. Therefore, food delivery companies should clearly state all the information on the foods they offer. The information must include the food being sold, its quantity, and price. This will help the customers be sure of what they are buying.
Additionally, they may include allergen information. In some cases, it is required that allergen information be provided both before ordering and at the delivery of the food.
The customers also expect timely delivery of their food orders. This calls for an efficient food delivery mechanism. Perishable foods require speedy delivery. The delivery company should avoid peak hours when there is likely to be a traffic jam for delivery using vehicles. Where delay is inevitable, the food delivery companies should have alternative plans to take care of such situations.
Customers expect food that is fit for their use. This means the food should not be delivered in a state that is unsafe for the customer. For example, the temperature of the food should be controlled to ensure it is palatable to the customer.
The customers also expect safe food. Care must be taken to make sure the food is free from bacteria.
Drone delivery has been used in many countries to deliver food. Currently, it is being used to deliver both food and medicine in areas under lockdown.
Drone delivery ensures there is minimal contact in the delivery process. The customers order the food online, and the delivery company sends the drone to deliver the food. This has dramatically helped reduce the spread of the Corona Virus.
Some delivery companies use other means of delivery, such as vans and cycles.
For all of these means of food delivery, it should be noted that where the carrier was used to transport any non- food item, the carrier must be cleaned between every trip. Besides, the containers used to carry foods in these carriers should minimize contamination. They should also be capable of controlling the temperature of the food.
Constant communication should be made with the customer, especially when doing contactless delivery. Delivered food should never be left outside the customer’s home. However, when this happens, the customers should be informed of the conditions their food was left in. It is also advisable that the delivery company inform the customers that the company cannot guarantee food safety from that point.
Parcel lockers should have the ability to control the temperature of the food. There should be a refrigerator to make sure cold foods are kept frozen. On the other hand, there should also be warming mechanisms to keep the food warm. This will help maintain the quality of the food the customer ordered.
The parcel lockers should also have mechanisms to prevent cross-contamination. For example, they can be sealed to avoid the entry of any material that might affect the quality of the food. Special care should be taken to handle allergen-free food, for example.
Importantly, all surfaces that come into contact with the food must be corrosion resistant; washable; and non -toxic. This will help keep the food safe for consumption. Besides, the food package should be capable of safe disposal after being used by the customer.
To protect the food from losing its aesthetics, shape as well as consumability, the food delivery company should ensure it uses packaging that would at least withstand some degree of physical movement.