Earlier this month we investigated how food delivery apps work and whether or not they were monitored by your local health department. Following that article, we thought that it would be helpful to provide some information and tips for restaurant outlets that provide their own delivery service to their loyal customers.
Food Safety Certification MN and Providing Delivery Services
This biggest issue with food delivery is that there is a high risk that the food’s temperature will fall into the danger zone. If your product falls between 140 and 40 degrees during delivery, there is a risk of bacteria growth. Many chain restaurants employ the use of insulated containers to keep their food hot during delivery. We strongly urge you to talk to your product supplier or local culinary supply store about obtaining several of these containers before you begin providing delivery to your customers. We also suggest that you consider limiting your delivery range so that you can deliver hot food product to your customers in a timely manner.
The rules for keeping cold foods safe for consumption after delivery is a little more straightforward than those for hot foods. Refrigerated items may go without refrigeration for up to two hours according to the Minnesota Health Code. This means that your salads and sandwiches and other cold items should be safe for delivery as long as they are kept in sanitary containers. Be aware that raw animal protein items such as sushi are much more sensitive than other cold products. You may wish to consult with your local health inspector if you are planning on delivering any raw or undercooked proteins.
There are other aspects besides food safety that you should plan for if you are considering offering delivery service. Keep in mind that you will need to have a staff member available to provide this service. If your staff is stretched thin on a busy night and an order is placed for delivery, the service in your restaurant may suffer or you will have long waits for delivery. Neither scenario is good for building a satisfied customer base or increasing employee morale on busy evenings. Having an extra hand available on weekends and during peak times will be a key element in helping you offer delivery services to your clientele.
Finally, make sure that your delivery drivers have received food safety certification in MN. They are vital members of your team and will be essential in seeing that your product arrives to your customers in a safe-to-eat state.
Are you extending your food services to clients who wish to have their meals delivered? At Safe Food Training, we’d like to know your thoughts on how you plan to keep your meals safe during delivery.