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Food Safety Focus (212th Issue, March 2024) – Article 3

Maintaining Food Safety for Online Grocery Shopping

The convenience of online grocery shopping has made it popular in recent years. Operators of online shops and delivery agents must implement safety measures to reduce the possibility of food contamination or spoilage during preparation, storage and transportation. Perishable food items, such as frozen or refrigerated foods, require stringent temperature and time control.

Operators of online shops should provide consumers with clear information, including food labels, expiry dates and delivery arrangements. Additionally, shops and delivery agents should ensure that their employees receive sufficient training on personal, environmental and food hygiene.

Consumers need to be aware of the nature and potential risks of the food ordered online. Choose licensed food premises, and look for online shops with appropriate permits when purchasing restricted food like oysters for raw consumption. Make sure that someone is available at the scheduled time to accept the food delivered. Upon receiving the food, perform an immediate check. If any issue such as frozen food that arrived thawed, damaged packaging or swollen cans arises, do not consume those food items and return them to the vendor promptly.