Amazon delivery services make it extremely convenient to buy a wide variety of products. You can get practically anything you want shipped right to your door, often within only a couple days. Amazon has even implemented a food delivery service for delivering groceries and other food-related products to select areas across the United States.
That being said, it might seem a bit suspect to order fresh food from an online retailer. Food safety is serious business, and it can be difficult to tell exactly what measures Amazon is taking to keep their customers safe.
If you want to learn some of the details of Amazon’s food handling procedures, as well as provide some precautions you can take to make sure you get fresh food that is safe to eat, keep reading!
Is It Safe to Order Food From Amazon?
Yes, it is safe to order food from Amazon. Amazon follows CDC guidelines for preventing food-borne pathogens. However, be cautious when purchasing food from third-party sellers on Amazon.
If you want to learn more about the safety of food on Amazon and their safety protocol, keep reading…
Ordering Food On Amazon
Amazon has been running their grocery delivery service in select areas since 2007. They’ve gone through a number of policy changes designed to protect their customers and make sure food sellers are taking the proper measures to deliver safe food.
In general, it is safe to order food from Amazon, but there have been instances of some sellers delivering expired food items against Amazon’s policy. Amazon Fresh services provide some peace of mind, with fewer reports of expired items being received.
If you live in an eligible area, Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market are great ways of having fresh food delivered right to your door. The only catch is that you need to have an Amazon Prime account and purchase a minimum amount of groceries.
Workers at Amazon facilities that handle food are required to follow CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of food-borne pathogens.
However, dry foods packaged by third-party sellers can sometimes fly under the radar, which is why it’s always a good idea to be cautious when buying food from Amazon.
What Are Amazon’s Food Safety Procedures?
The FDA is responsible for inspecting food facilities in the US, including those that handle pet food. Any food processing facility is required to register with the FDA and have regular inspections performed. Amazon has argued several times over the years that they are a retail food outlet, and as such are exempt from these registration requirements.
However, Amazon does require that food sellers on their platform receive FDA registration certificates to ensure that their food handling practices are compliant with FDA guidelines. They also require food sellers (including pet food) to comply with their food safety investigation policy.
Food sellers are responsible for ensuring that their food is safe and compliant with any local laws. Accordingly, the quality and safety requirements for food items sold through Amazon will vary depending on the country you live in.
Amazon Fresh has in-house safety procedures for ensuring food safety. All food handlers are required to regularly sanitize their hands and use gloves when handling food. Requirements for food sellers in general are focused mainly on traceability and accountability. The specific rules for different types of foods sold through Amazon can be found on Amazon Seller Central.
What Shouldn’t You Buy on Amazon?
Even though Amazon has measures in place to ensure food safety for its sellers and customers, sometimes things can slip through the cracks. Third party sellers in particular have been reported to deliver expired or improperly packaged foods.
Aside from this, there are some food items sold through Amazon that are simply easier to obtain elsewhere. In particular, items available from more specialized websites can often be bought for cheaper prices than on Amazon. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of items that you should probably avoid ordering through Amazon:
- Pet Food. Although Amazon has a wide variety of pet food available, much of it is listed at a considerable markup. It is often far cheaper to buy pet food from Chewy.com, a specialized online pet food vendor. Chewy has a much larger selection of products, and much cheaper prices than those available through Amazon.
- Trader Joes’ Items. Although it can be convenient to get these items delivered right to your door, the prices on Amazon are often two to three times higher than the in-store prices. If you’re looking to obtain items available through Trader Joes, it will likely be far cheaper for you to just go and buy it in-store.
- Costco Kirkland Signature Products. Although Kirkland is formally partnered with Costco, Amazon actually outsells them in terms of Kirkland Signature products. That being said, these products can almost always be found for cheaper at Costco than on Amazon.
- Food from third party sellers. Food sellers on Amazon are required to follow a number of safety measures and documentation requirements as discussed above. However, some products sold by third parties manage to slip through the cracks. In particular, dry foods are reported to sometimes be delivered past their expiry. If you want to avoid this kind of slip-up, it’s better to order through Amazon Fresh if possible.
- Produce and other perishable items. Because delivery times can often be unpredictable, ordering perishable foods and/or produce is generally not recommended. If you live in an eligible are for Amazon Fresh, this is a notable exception, since they exist for the sole purpose of delivering fresh food right to your door. However, it is still always a good idea to be cautious when ordering perishable foods online. Make sure to check things like the expiration date and bring any irregularities to Amazon’s attention so that they can ensure proper food safety compliance.
Want to learn more about Amazon? Check out our related pots to learn the difference between Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods, does Whole Foods accept EBT cards, and is Amazon Fresh included in Prime
Amazon’s grocery delivery service has been going strong since 2007. Although they have clashed with the FDA over certain policy requirements, they have generally been compliant with food safety regulations in their facilities. They are also quite strict about ensuring food safety from their selling partners as well, including for pet food and other related items.
That being said, it is always good to be cautious when purchasing food online. If you take the proper precautions and keep your wits about you, you should have no problem safely ordering food from Amazon.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask away in the comments section.