Call Today   |   888.828.7087

Posted by: OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in demand for food delivery services. This demand was inflated even more during the pandemic. Luckily, companies like DoorDash and Instacart satisfied that need by providing food delivered right to a customer’s doorstep.

Although having the luxury of food delivery is convenient, it puts a lot of responsibility on the drivers to ensure food makes it to your home safely. If it doesn’t, the driver or their employer might be responsible for a food poisoning outbreak.

How to Handle Food Poisoning Caused by a Delivery Service

If you recently received a restaurant order, meal kit, or bundle of groceries, and you got food poisoning as a result, you must take the necessary steps to report the incident. Once you’ve contacted your doctor and received the proper medical treatment, be sure to do the following:

Report the Incident to Local Health Officials

When you get sick from food, you must report your case immediately. Contact your local health officials and provide details of your case. They will conduct a traceback investigation to identify the source of your illness. This helps you confirm which parties are liable for your damages.

You might find that the contamination occurred while the driver was traveling to your house. Not only does reporting food poisoning benefit your case, but it also ensures that the proper authorities can contain the outbreak to ensure no one else gets sick.

Report Your Case to the Delivery Service

Food delivery services like DoorDash have pages on their site where you can contact customer support and report a food poisoning incident. Although you most likely already reported your food poisoning to local health officials, reporting directly to the food delivery service could strengthen your claim.

If you don’t file a report, the delivery service may be able to deny the severity of your case. They may claim you would’ve reported it immediately if you were seriously sick. If you still have the driver’s name who delivered your food, providing this information could help identify the liable party.

Collect Evidence Proving Your Damages

Once you’ve notified everyone of your illness, you must do your due diligence and gather evidence that could benefit your case. Record your medical bills if you spent the night in the hospital recovering from food poisoning.

You could also journal your recovery, which provides further insight into how your food poisoning impacted you mentally and emotionally. Your attorney could assess your damages and collect the proper evidence to ensure you receive total compensation.

Types of Food Delivery Services

Food delivery services have expanded far beyond DoorDash and Uber Eats. Companies today are delivering entire meal kits for people to cook with. These meal kits contain both perishable and non-perishable food items, and food poisoning can occur if they’re not stored correctly.

You might have used the following types of food delivery services:

  • Meal Kit Services – Businesses like Hello Fresh, Home Chef, and Blue Apron deliver all the necessary ingredients to make a great meal. However, several food poisoning outbreaks have occurred from contaminated food items. One case involved an E. coli outbreak found in Hello Fresh meal kits.
  • Restaurant Food – GrubHub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats are among the many players in the restaurant food delivery space. Drivers must practice safe food handling techniques to prevent foodborne illness while traveling to customers’ homes. Cases of food poisoning have increased in restaurant delivery services because of the introduction of Ghost Kitchens — offsite locations where several restaurants prepare and deliver food.
  • Groceries – Instacart and Amazon are two examples of companies that deliver a complete list of groceries for paying customers. Although this is a convenient option for those with busy schedules, it leaves food safety in the hands of the driver. Drivers must store food correctly in their cars and use insulated bags to keep hot food hot and cold food cold.

How Can Food Delivery Services Cause Food Poisoning?

Whether it’s food from a restaurant, grocery store, or meal kit service, safe food handling practices must be exercised like any other food provider. The same food safety violations that cause food poisoning in a restaurant can cause food poisoning with a meal delivery service. However, food delivery services have additional considerations, and they may contaminate food in the following ways:

Multiple Food Runs

To maximize payout, DoorDash and Uber Eats drivers may pick up multiple food orders at once rather than doing one at a time. This is perfectly fine for them to do; however, they must ensure that they deliver food in a reasonable time. The longer drivers take, the more likely food will enter the danger zone (40ºF-140ºF). Bacteria multiply rapidly at this temperature, causing food-borne illness.

Improper Food Storage

Delivery services must use insulated storage bags to keep foods at the appropriate temperature. Additionally, drivers should always make sure hot and cold foods are separated. If you ordered from a meal kit service, all packages should be firmly secured and contain ice packs to refrigerate them properly. If you receive a damaged package or the food appears to be contaminated in any way, report it immediately.

Cross Contamination

Meal delivery services are often handling several types of food. Grocery delivery drivers might have raw chicken in the same bag as other items. If the raw meat products get damaged in any way, it might contaminate the other food and cause foodborne illness.

Did You Get Sick from a Delivery Service? Call Today

When you suffer food poisoning from a delivery service, you must report it and gather the necessary evidence to prove their fault. With an experienced food poisoning lawyer by your side, you can obtain fair compensation for all your damages. Contact OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers today at 888-828-7087. Free Consults.

Notable Recoveries

$10 million

Seven infants were sickened after consuming a contaminated food product marketed to infants

$6.5 million

Verdict on behalf of a little boy who contracted a severe Salmonella infection from chicken

$7.55 million

Verdict on behalf of a little girl who contracted E. coli at a petting zoo

$2.25 million

E. coli infections contracted from a major fast food chain

$45 million

An over-the-counter medication caused severe kidney damage to multiple users

$3.4 million

A pregnant woman contracted a Listeria infection from contaminated fruit and passed the infection to her child

$3 million

Multistate Cyclospora outbreaks


A couple contracted Salmonella from a restaurant


A pedestrian was struck by a left-turning car, fracturing her tibia


A semi-truck rear-ended a motorcyclist causing a collapsed lung, rib fractures and road rash