You can use your Smartphone to find restaurants near your location, pursue menus, read customer reviews and easily make reservations. With modern software, there are even apps available that will allow you to order meals delivered directly to your door. This week, we’ve decided to explore Smartphone delivery apps and whether or not they fall under ServSafe MN guidelines.
Who Monitors the Food Safety Procedures of Delivery Drivers?
One of the concerns that we have when it comes to using a food delivery app is what precautions are being taken to ensure that your food will be handled in a safe manner. In order to address this issue, we need to look at the three types of delivery apps that exist:
- Major restaurant chain apps
- Apps that order from restaurants that deliver
- Third-party courier apps
In the case of the first two options on our list, your delivery drivers will be employees of the restaurant that prepares the food. In many cases, they will have had food-safety training and are required to have current food handler’s licenses if they have any contact with your dinner before it is packaged for delivery. In the case of third-party apps where you request food delivered from your favorite restaurant, we are finding that there seems to be a gray area as to whether or not your courier is required to have received any food-safety training.
Many food courier services are outside the jurisdiction of your local health department since your meal has been paid for and they are simply picking it up at the restaurant and bringing to your door. Our understanding is that they do not need to be food safety certified, and are not responsible for the quality of the food that arrives at your door. It is unclear at this time if there will be any adjustments to the food code to make sure that food couriers are abiding by food safety regulation.
In speaking with a few restaurant owners, we have found some that have expressed concerns with the growing popularity of food delivery apps. Their major issue with these apps is the fact that the delivery drivers do not represent them or their business. This means that they may be putting the quality of their product in the hands of a courier who may not have the restaurants best interests in mind. If a guest receives a cold dinner or a carton of sandwiches that appears to have barely survived a rugby match, their displeasure may not be with delivery service, but with the restaurant itself.
We’d like to know how you feel about delivery apps. Do you prefer to order directly from the source, or do you feel that third-party food couriers are just as reliable?