Apex food safety regulator FSSAI has issued the latest FSSAI guidelines for maintaining hygiene while customers order food online.
COVID-19 pandemic has disturbed the ordinary course of life in India. In this regard, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has looked into safety precautions for online food delivery services. Indeed, these services are the mainstay, currently working to provide food items to the citizens.
FSSAI has stated that before a person can order food online, the service providers in charge must take the necessary steps. When handing the food over to the customers, Coronavirus can spread through this contact if either is affected. Thus, the FSSAI has given specific guidelines to the service providers to implement in their delivery method. Moreover, the citizens need to regard them as well, to stop the spread of COVID-19.
So, read the FSSAI safety guidelines concerning order food online:
#1. No contact policy
It is the first & foremost guideline. To be precise, the FSSAI guidelines state that both the online food delivery provider and the recipient must maintain social distancing. The delivery boy should place the food items outside the customer’s door and call the customer. It’s essential to ensure no contact between two individuals and to reduce the chance of hand-to-hand contact.
#2. Hand sanitation
Before the consumers receive the item, they should wash their hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds or apply doctor-recommended sanitizers with a higher alcohol percentage. Very importantly, this habit shall be repeated after receiving the order. Hand sanitation is essential for both the customer and the delivery individual.
#3. Online Payment
During the payment portion of the task, the FSSAI guidelines deny the avoidance of cash on delivery (COD) mode. There are many reliable online UPI apps available, including Google Pay, Paytm, etc., for payment purposes. Moreover, in case of payment via cards (credit or debit), consumers must sanitize it thoroughly before and after usage.
#4. Delivery boy must wear face masks
When the delivery boy reaches with the order, the consumer needs to ensure that he is wearing a face mask. Indeed, surgical masks are essential. If the customer is COVID-19 infected and is under self-quarantine, he must also wear the surgical mask.
#5. FSSAI Registration logo
Very importantly, the online food delivery FBOs must possess FSSAI registration. The customer must order food online only from the restaurants/FBOs with the FSSAI registration or license. While receiving the order, they must check for the FSSAI registration logo on the food package.
#6. Order details via cellular devices
When a person has to order food online, he does so via phone calls. Moreover, certain apps are available for them to directly select what they want from restaurants, like Zomato, Swiggy, etc. Here, he must carefully read the complete Order details to ensure a systematic and safe order and preparation process.
Self-sanitation is a fundamental rule, and it would not work if it happens alone. Therefore, consumers need to sanitize the risky locations like door handles, doorbells, etc. Additionally, after receiving the product, the FSSAI guidelines suggest sanitizing the food packaging as well.
In the case of COVID-19 infection, the packaging is equally susceptible to contamination as the two individuals involved. Thus, both parties need to follow this rule carefully. After sanitizing the package, the customer has to wash his hands for 20 seconds thoroughly.
Also, read about govt scheme for Micro Food Enterprises.
All in all, these guidelines would ensure that the risk of contamination is much lesser when people order food online. This way, citizens can enjoy these services, and the food industry can work efficiently. However, these government-mandated rules require positive consumer attention and responsibility of the providers simultaneously, to reduce COVID-19 risk.
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