WHO Advice for Receiving Food Deliveries During COVID-19

Extra precautions need to be taken when receiving food deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Extra precautions need to be taken when receiving food deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 15, 2020 — The guidelines released by the WHO explain that food businesses need to focus on preventing the SARS -CoV-2 coronavirus from entering the food premises.

The only way in which the virus can enter the premises is if an infected person brings it in, or if it’s brought in on a contaminated item or food product. Therefore, receiving deliveries may be considered quite high risk and care must be taken not to introduce the coronavirus to the workplace in this manner.

How Driver Transmission Occurs

If a driver touches a contaminated surfaces or comes into contact with an infected person then they may contract the coronavirus. Frequent touch surfaces such as mobile devices, steering wheels and door handles should be treated with extra caution, and drivers need to maintain physical distancing and not shake hands with the people receiving the delivered items.

Given the nature of delivery work, drivers are likely to come into contact with multiple different people and a variety of surfaces on any given day.

Preventing Driver Transmission

Driver education about COVID-19 and how transmission could occur is vital in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Particular attention should be paid to educating drivers on hand hygiene and the importance of physical distancing.

Drivers making deliveries to food premises should be asked to stay inside their vehicles and not assist with moving the goods onto the premises. Drivers should be supplied with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, disinfectant and paper towels - and most importantly, they must be asked to sanitize their hands before passing delivery documents over to the person signing off the delivery.

In some cases, businesses may wish to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves to drivers - however, these are only effective if drivers are educated on how to use these properly.

Container and Packaging Considerations

Disposable containers and packaging should be used to avoid the need for cleaning any returns. If reusable containers must be used, then appropriate cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting protocols must be followed.

Drivers must clean and disinfect transport containers frequently, and care must be taken to protect food and other items from possible sources of contamination.

The World Health Organization held a webinar to complement the release of this information. Visit our latest post for more details on the questions and answers provided during this session.