Food deliveries and COVID-19

Tips about food preparation and packaging to keep food delivery workers safe.

The best way to protect yourself is by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Washing hands is especially important before you eat.

Handle food safely

Get food delivered from a licensed and inspected food facility. Keep food in its original packaging when you deliver it.

Keep food at safe temperatures using refrigerated vehicles, portable coolers, or insulated bags:

  • Hot foods must be kept at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above
  • Cold foods must be kept 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below
  • Frozen foods must be kept frozen solid

Label all perishable foods with “Process immediately.” Do not leave them at room temperature for more than 30 minutes when delivering.

If you’re a consumer concerned about food packaging, you can move your food deliveries into your own containers. Wash your hands before and after you handle food.

Keep it clean

Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds whenever possible, especially:

  • Before starting deliveries
  • After using the restroom
  • After finishing deliveries
  • Before you eat

Your company should give you cleaning supplies. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as:

  • Doors
  • Carts
  • Transportation equipment
  • Faucet handles
  • Inside of your delivery vehicle
  • Any devices you use during your shift
  • Inside of any containers you use to transport food in

If you use bleach to disinfect, use 5 tablespoons of bleach for each gallon of water.

Protect food from potential contamination. Use sanitary, food-grade containers. Keep your delivery vehicles clean.

Delivery workers should practice physical distancing

Wear a face covering when shopping, packing, or delivering items.

While packing food for delivery, delivery workers should:

  1. Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  2. Practice glove policies.
  3. Wait outside the restaurant if food is not ready for pickup when you arrive.
  4. Avoid picking up utensils and food condiments. They should already be packed within the delivery packaging.

While delivering food, delivery workers should:

  1. Use hand sanitizer before grabbing meal bags from the vehicle. You do not need to wear gloves when handling food packaging.
  2. Wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth.
  3. Avoid handling cash. Get paid using mobile apps instead.
  4. Always stand 6 feet away from others, especially who you’re delivering to.
  5. Call or text your customer that their food is being delivered.
  6. Knock on doors with your elbow or shoe. Ring doorbells and push elevator buttons with your elbow.
  7. Leave the meals on your customer’s doorstep. Then walk 6 feet away from the door while they answer.
  8. Wait until the customer answers the door and takes their meals before leaving.

Do not go into a customer’s home, even if they invite you in or ask you to put their meals away for them.

If a delivery worker becomes ill

If you feel sick, do not work. Check your symptoms and see if you should get tested.

If a delivery worker tests positive for COVID-19, customers are not considered close contacts. Food is not required to be recalled.

Last updated September 30, 2020