As food delivery continues to grow in popularity, it is important for foodservice operators to understand all aspects of the industry — including the risks involved.
To avoid the expense of hiring additional workers or purchasing delivery vehicles, operators have become reliant on third-party delivery workers to transport meals to customers. Recent studies, however, have revealed that bad things sometimes happen between when the order is placed and when it’s delivered.
A 2019 survey conducted by US Foods found that nearly 30 per cent of food-delivery drivers are eating from the food they’re delivering. Beyond food getting eaten, there’s also the danger of spillage if containers fall or slide around. Understanding these and other risks can help operators be proactive in avoiding problems before they become major issues.
It is important for both the operator and the customer to know that the food has not been tampered with in any way from the time it left the kitchen to the time it arrived at its destination. Paying special attention to the packaging of delivered foods is an easy way to address tampering concerns. However, the wrong packaging method can create an entirely new set of concerns.
One example: Many foodservice establishments are using staples to ensure that drivers do not tamper with delivery food. This can cause a variety of issues, as using small, sharp objects near prepared food is a dangerous practice. Customers risk cutting themselves when opening a stapled container or bag, and it is possible the staples could end up in the customer’s food. Not only are these outcomes painful for the customer but they also may lead to major legal issues for the establishment, including loss of reputation and loss of business.
One important way to ensure peace of mind is by using tamper-evident labels — such as TamperSeal™ labels offered by DayMark Safety Systems® — as a seal on packaging for delivered food. TamperSeal labels feature security slits that cause the label to lose its integrity if someone attempts to open the container. If the seal is broken upon delivery, it is a clear indication that the food may have been tampered with.
Tamper-evident labels also ensure that food is appropriately labelled and handled during delivery, using an aggressive adhesive to keep the label attached to the package. TamperSeal labels, for example, can be printed using DayMark’s MenuCommand® platform and can include information such as a company logo, a web address, safe handling instructions, date and time the food was prepared, marketing materials, nutritionals and other customized information.
As third-party food delivery services continue to transform the way people receive their meals, it is imperative for owners to ensure customer safety — and it’s also just good business.
Article originally appeared on the Foodservice and Hospitality website