World Universities Network researchers have investigated the food safety risk of online food delivery platforms against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a dramatic increase in demand for online food delivery services for everything, from groceries to cooked meals around the world, including in the United States. The food safety risk of so much food being delivered this way has gone largely unexplored.
Researchers in Taiwan, however, have investigated the food safety literacy of both consumers and proprietors of online food delivery services during the pandemic in Taiwan.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the enforcement of lockdowns and shelter-in-place policies across the world. As a consequence, there was also an increase in the use of online shopping and online food delivery services.
The use of online food delivery services was so widespread, that in Taiwan, about 56 percent of the population has used these services during the pandemic. From fruits and vegetables to snacks and cooked meals, food delivery services offer a wide range of foods to consumers. But along with the improved convenience and access to food, these foods can also prove a risk in case they are undercooked, or if appropriate hygiene and temperature control is not maintained during their transport and preparation.