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Food Safety Focus (202nd Issue, May 2023)– Article 4

Food Safety Risks of Cross-Boundary Meal Delivery

With the resumption of normal economic and social activities, more people are turning to cross-boundary meal delivery services as a convenient and alternative food option. However, meals that need to be delivered over long distances are prone to spoilage and bacterial overgrowth if there is no proper control over food storage temperature and delivery time. Bacteria that cause food poisoning thrive and multiply rapidly at the temperature danger zone between 4oC and 60oC. Consuming contaminated food can lead to food poisoning.

To ensure food safety, hot food and cold food should be kept above 60oC and at or below 4oC respectively. If meals are kept within the temperature danger zone, the two-hour and four-hour principle should be followed (i.e. if prepared food is kept at room temperature for less than two hours, it can be refrigerated for later use; if cooked food has been held at room temperature for more than four hours, it should be discarded) to prevent bacterial growth.