Sanitisation of food delivery bags now in question

PETALING JAYA: While food delivery service is lauded for ensuring meals are accessible to the public during the movement control order (MCO) period, there are questions over the need for further safeguards to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Food delivery companies such as GrabFood and Foodpanda and several others had recently announced several measures to better protect its employees, service partners and customers from the virus.

Among them were giving their riders masks and hand sanitiser with instructions to wash their hands every two hours and after each delivery.

In addition, riders and customers have been told to maintain a one-metre distance during delivery that adopts cashless payment methods to minimise contact.

The contactless delivery, launched at the start of the MCO, allows riders to deliver orders at designated spots such as in front of customers’ homes or offices.

Mandatory daily temperature checks have also been implemented for employees and delivery partners.

However, sanitisation of the food delivery bags or pouches was not spelled out under the recent measures.

When contacted, a Foodpanda spokesman merely said to refer to the company’s earlier press statement, while a GrabFood spokesman noted that the company will issue regular updates during the MCO.

It was reported that the Harvard Medical School advises against ordering takeout during the outbreak, while the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says it’s safe as long as customers practise social distancing with restaurant staff.

The FDA added there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of Covid-19.

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