How safe are you handling your UAE food deliveries?

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Abu Dhabi: Limiting direct contact with people is on top of everyone’s list of safety precautions, and this rule should also be applied to food deliverymen.

Regarding the safety of food deliveries, the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has issued a safety checklist that all residents should follow in order to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

The guidelines, which were issued on Sunday, recommended customers to not only avoid direct contact with the deliveryman, but to also instruct that deliveries should be either left at the doorstep or inside the building’s lobby.

When receiving the delivery, customers should remember to throw away the bag in a dustbin.

“Once the meal is finished and cleared away, all contents should be thrown away immediately and the dustbin should be sterilised, in addition to all surfaces that were in contact with the food or the delivery bag,” read the guidelines.

After completing these procedures, hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds before eating the meal.

Food safety

The food safety authority cautioned residents against using the plastic plates and bowls provided by restaurants and cafeterias, and suggested that personal plates be used instead.

“Avoid keeping delivered meals in the refrigerator or the pantry, and store them in your own dishware. All surfaces that were in contact with the plastic plates or cutlery should also be disinfected and sterilised,” said ADAFSA.

Online payment

The authority recommended that customers use electronic payment services, like bank cards, or mobile payment services such as Google Pay or Apple Pay. But in the case that a direct payment is made, “pass the money to the employee in a way that avoids touching the hands directly.”

When visiting the restaurant, customers should also maintain a safety distance of at least two metres with other people while waiting in line, and wear gloves and a face mask at all time.

“If the food is delivered to your car, do not allow the restaurant worker to open the door – you should place your own goods in the vehicle and handle your own car doors,” suggested the food safety authority.

And lastly, always wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds as recommended by the World Health Organisation, which takes as long as singing Happy Birthday twice.

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