Meal kit deliveries come with unique food safety issues. These practices can be used to reduce food safety risks when you deliver meal kits.

Meal kit delivery has been growing in popularity over the past few years. They are marketed as a convenient, healthy and sustainable alternative to home-cooked meals. These services offer easy-to-follow, pre-portioned recipes and become more popular as people turn to them for food delivery during the COVID-19 epidemic.

According to a Food Safety Plan. The plan must be based upon the 7 Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, a system that helps minimize food-borne disease outbreaks and determine possible food safety risks.

A Food Safety Plan is required for delivery companies that deliver meal kits. It should contain processes such as:

  • Source ingredients from reliable suppliers
  • Preventive measures to prevent cross-contamination during processing
  • implementing temperature control processes for deliveries
  • Labeling must be included on all packages to ensure proper identification
  • Food safety education for customers

Reliable suppliers are the best source for your ingredients.

Meal kit companies need to ensure that ingredients are only sourced from reliable suppliers who adhere to food safety protocols. This is crucial for all ingredients in the meal kits, but especially for those that can be eaten raw such as fruits or vegetables.

Food safety standards must be adhered to by employees.

Establish processes to prevent cross-contamination

Meal kits usually include both raw and cooked ingredients. High-risk foods such as meat, poultry and seafood are also included in meal kits. Businesses must implement processes to prevent cross-contamination and help to prevent food-borne illnesses.

Food Handlers must:

  • Use separate chopping boards, cutting boards, and utensils for raw meats and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Clean and disinfect any surfaces that have come in contact with raw meat.
  • use proper disinfection techniques
  • Always separate ready-to-eat and meats, taking extra care to ensure they are not placed on the same shelves.
  • Wash your hands after handling raw meats or cooking.

The following best practices can be used to minimize cross-contamination in the packaging of meal kits.

  • You can pack ingredients separately.
  • To prevent food contamination, you can use additional packaging in your meal kit to separate high-risk foods (such as raw meats), and foods meant to be consumed raw.
  • Before assembling the meal package, disinfect the exterior packaging.

Prioritize temperature control for deliveries

Meal kit delivery is a time-consuming process that can risk food safety. Meal kits can be left in transit for hours or days without proper refrigeration. This creates the perfect environment to allow harmful bacteria to grow. How quickly ingredients can spoil depend on the time of year and where they are delivered.

Businesses must ensure that temperature control protocols are followed when delivering goods. Customers should also be informed about the importance of inspecting for spoilage and immediately storing food in the fridge after receiving their meal kit. Here are some safety and protocol tools that meal delivery businesses can use.

  • Customers can label meal kit boxes as perishable to tell them that they must immediately check for perishable food and store it away.
  • Insulated thermal liners or refrigerants are used to keep your ingredients at the right temperature for longer.
  • Separate foods should be kept in their refrigerators to prevent them from freezing.
  • Vacuum-sealed and modified-atmosphere packaging can be used to reduce the risk of bacteria growth for certain ingredients and increase shelf life.
  • Customers can be alerted using technology like time-temperature indicators (TTIs) on the packaging. When exposed to dangerous temperatures, TTIs can irreversibly change a product’s color. It is important to inform customers that the product cannot be consumed once it has developed this color.

Make sure to inform your customers about food safety.

Meal kits delivered safely to customers do not mean that food safety risks have been eliminated. Clear instructions and proper labeling should be included in all meal kits to ensure customers are educated about food safety and reduce the chance of getting food-borne illnesses.

  • All recipes and meals should indicate all allergens and ingredients.
  • Label each ingredient clearly in the meal plan.
  • In your instructions and recipes, make sure to include the correct washing and defrosting procedures.
  • You should ensure that you have included general food safety instructions such as proper handwashing, anti-cross-contamination methods, and time and temperature control instructions.
  • Discuss how long ingredients can be kept in the fridge before they spoil. Also, discuss proper storage practices and instructions for reheating leftovers.
  • Add a date of expiry.

Meal kits can be a great option for anyone looking for quick and easy recipes. However, they come with their set food safety issues. These best practices can be implemented by businesses now to reduce food safety risks.

 

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