Food Safety & Temperature Control
Updated over a week ago

Occasionally Dispatch Drivers will encounter a delivery containing food, here are some guidelines around food safety.

When food items are not handled safely, disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, parasites, or viruses result in cross-contamination. You as a driver need to be aware of the dangers of cross-contamination from the time you pick up the food until you deliver it. This shouldn’t be an issue, as you will pick up the food in a sealed container or bag, and then deliver it in the same manner that you received it.

However, we have all heard stories of drivers touching, testing, and tasting food before they deliver it. It goes without saying that this is unacceptable and extremely unhygienic. It also drastically increases the risk of cross-contamination. You as a driver need to understand these simple, yet vital, points.

Time and temperature control come down to this: keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Deliver the food as quickly and safely as possible, avoiding any unnecessary stops. According to the FDA food code, bacteria will grow most rapidly between 41 degrees Fahrenheit and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. They will double in number in as little as 20 minutes. This range of temperatures is called the “temperature danger zone.”

Before you pick up the food, the chefs and cooks have taken every step possible to keep the food out of the food danger zone. Once you pick it up, those controls that they have put into place are gone. You will need to do your best to keep the food out of the zone as long as possible. We strongly suggest that you provide an insulated food bag and gel packs if possible.

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