FDA Considering Food Delivery Industry Regulations

The $26 billion industry has soared in popularity since the start of the pandemic.

October 22, 2021

Takeout Food

BETHESDA, Md.—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering imposing regulations on food delivery services, including takeout, meal prep kits and raw products, reports FOX5DC.

The FDA conducted a virtual conference this week where agency officials looked at the food delivery industry, a $26 billion industry that remains unregulated. Questions the FDA has regarding food delivery include what happens when food is delivered and left unattended or exposed to the elements, and should companies use tamper-proof packaging?

Regulations discussed by the FDA include mandating temperature-regulated packaging, tracking the food, knowing the source and more.

Because of the success of food delivery companies, especially since the beginning of the pandemic, the FDA doesn’t want to disrupt the convenience, ease and popularity of the services.

There have been attempts to regulate food delivery services but at local levels. New York City passed a package of six bills aimed to improve food delivery workers’ on-the-job conditions. The city also ruled not to enforce a law that would require food delivery companies to share customer data with restaurants.

Some convenience stores use third-party apps to cover the last mile. Tech startup Lula and Uber have teamed up to help convenience stores offer on-demand delivery to their customers via the Uber Eats app. Many convenience stores utilize DoorDash’s DoubleDash, which allows customers to add items from nearby c-stores and other retailers in one order. Grocery stores are also utilizing third-party delivery apps, with Kroger and Instacart partnering to offer customers 30-minute delivery on fresh food, household essentials, meal solutions and snacks.

NACS Magazine covered the tradeoffs between using third-party delivery services and using store-owned services in “Delivery Dilemma” in the September 2021 issue. NACS Magazine also discussed covering the last mile and how convenience retailers fulfill the coveted direct link to consumers—and discover some watch outs.