We live in an era of instant gratification, from streaming movies whenever we want in just seconds, to food takeout apps that promise lightning fast delivery speeds. Think food services like UberEats and the New York-based Maple, which promise fresh meals in under 20 minutes. But could our obsession with speedy delivery be compromising food safety? It’s an issue that health inspectors, particularly in Austin, have been grappling with. They just can’t keep up with the rates of delivery.
Currently in Austin, pizza delivery drivers and other takeout services are not regulated as a restaurant would be, because delivering fresh food within minutes of making it gives the dish very little time to spoil.
"We are looking into some new apps that we have discovered in recent months," said Vincent Delisi, the assistant division manager in the environmental health services division of the health department.
They will be checking if the kitchens in which these super-fast delivery services prepare food are up to snuff, or if the meals are being prepared in unauthorized kitchens. Most of these instantaneous food companies insist that they follow all health and safety procedures.
"Delivery drivers with UberEATS are equipped with temperature controlled containers and are offered guidance on best practices to preserve food temperature throughout the service window of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.," Uber spokesperson Debbee Hancock told KXAN News.