Mark RepliesCategory: Handling foodfood-delivery-meat-safety
Shannon Couch asked 1 year ago

Hi Mark, I am a foods & nutrition high school teacher in the Bay Area, California.  My program is thriving and I have 165 students who cook once per week.  I have started utilizing instacart to purchase groceries due to the convenience and amounts of resources I need to purchase.  My question to you is about the relative safety of raw chicken when using a delivery service.  They assure that all groceries are kept refrigerated until delivery, but I have noticed that sometimes my app will say that grocery shopping has been completed but delivery doesn\\\\\\\’t occur until sometimes an hour or two later.  When the food, including raw chicken arrives, is there anything I can look for to assure that the meat is safe to cook and consume? thanks!

1 Answers
Mark Staff answered 1 year ago

Hi Shannon
Your program sounds wonderful! And what an excellent opportunity for your students to learn the basics of food safety.
We control the safety for raw meat and poultry with time and temperature. That is, the longer the time food is exposed to elevated temperature (above 40F), the greater the potential for pathogens to grow.
Food safety experts recommend that potentially hazardous foods (i.e. any food that can support the growth of pathogens) should not remain in the Temperature Danger Zone (40F to 140F) for more than 4 hours.
Ideally, as we increasingly rely on others (persons/companies) to do our food shopping, they should attach inexpensive temperature sensor strips to food packages so that you have a visual signal that the product has not been temperature abused. I think this will be increasingly common over time. Until then, hopefully your app lets you see the time between shopping and delivery.
In the scenario that you describe, if the time between shopping and when your food is delivered in less than 4 hours, food safety should be under control. With raw chicken, we completely rely on adequate cooking (internal temperature of 165F) to kill any pathogens that may be on the chicken. Also, it’s critical to prevent cross-contamination when handling raw chicken in the kitchen.
I hope this answers your question. If I can clarify any aspect, don’t hesitate to ask.
Safe cooking!

Shannon Couch replied 1 year ago

Thank You so much. My students will be exploring your website as part of a future lesson!