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Federal agencies guidance to food delivery services

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has collaborated with the Conference of Food Protection (CFP) to release food safety best practices for third-party delivery services.

The release of food safety best practices for third-party delivery services are recommendations focused on key parameters companies should consider when delivering food to consumers. They address the safety of foods ordered online and delivered directly to consumers, which is a priority outlined in the FDA’s  New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint.

Consumers are increasingly ordering food from a variety of online retailers, including produce and meal-kit subscription services, ghost kitchens (which only prepare and fulfill orders for delivery, without a physical storefront), and third-party delivery services and programs.

The best practices document identifies mitigating measures to potential food safety vulnerabilities, including those that may arise in the “last mile” of delivery, with the last mile referring to the final leg of the food’s journey to consumers’ homes.

This guidance document provides food safety best practices that include preventive controls, mechanisms to assess risk, recommendations for proper packaging, temperature control, physical and chemical contamination control, and allergen control.

This collaboration is one example of how the FDA, in its New Era of Smarter Food Safety, is engaging with both industry and all stakeholders to help ensure food safety as new business models emerge and change to meet the needs of the modern consumer. 

Another example is the three-day public meeting the FDA held in October to discuss the safety of foods ordered online and delivered directly to consumers. The response showed that this is an issue that crosses age, economic and national divides. More than 4,000 people registered to attend, and 15,400 watched online.

News Desk. (2022g, diciembre 13). Third-party food delivery services are offered guidance from federal agencies. Food Safety News.

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