Are Meal Kits Safe and Sustainable?

Vericool Packaging Launches #MealKitFail Campaign to Raise Consumer
Awareness

LIVERMORE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While meal kit delivery services have grown exponentially over the last
few years to $5 billion in sales, more and more consumers are starting
to ask whether the food delivered is safe and whether the packaging is
sustainable. Vericool, the maker of safe, sustainable and affordable
Vericoolers®, today launched the consumer awareness and education
campaign #MealKitFail to answer some of those questions. The company is
encouraging consumers to share their concerns, questions and any
problems they encountered with their meal kit delivery and packaging via
social media.

“There’s a lot of confusion about meal kit safety and sustainability—and
we’re starting #MealKitFail to help,” said Darrell Jobe, CEO of
Vericool, Inc.

According to Packaged
Facts
, three-quarters of U.S. adults have heard of fresh food meal
kit delivery services, and a quarter of them have taken part in at least
a free product trial.

“This space is the most striking example of the movement toward greater
convenience in getting fresh foods to the consumer,” remarked David
Sprinkle
, Director of Research at Packaged Facts.

While meal kit delivery addresses the ever-growing demand for
convenience, questions have been raised as to whether this convenience
comes with safety and sustainability risks.

Meal Kit Safety

In a study
conducted by Rutgers University and Tennessee State University,
researchers ordered 169 meal kits, with 271 meat items, 235 seafood
items, 133 game items, 39 poultry items, and interviewed over 1000
consumers. They found that products are likely to be left outside for
eight or more hours before they are opened and refrigerated, and only
five percent require a signature upon delivery. Further, research found
that 47 percent of the cold food items arrived with surface temperatures
above 40 degrees, which falls in the USDA’s “danger
zone”
—when bacteria grows rapidly.

So, what can consumers to do make sure the delivery is safe?

“You just want to be mindful of how long the food has been sitting
outside, and if it’s above 40 degrees or if there’s any thawing or the
meat is not fully frozen still, then that’s definitely problematic and
increases the risk for food-borne illness,” said Bill
Hallman
, professor and Chair of the Department of Human Ecology at
Rutgers University.

Here are some safety tips and Vericool Packaging will be sharing more
via Twitter,
Instagram,
Facebook,
and LinkedIn:

  • Check the temperatures of the package’s contents and make sure meats,
    dairy, fish, and other cold foods are below 41 degrees—cool to touch
    is not safe;
  • Refrigerate the package after receipt; and
  • If you notice any leaking or strange smells, throw it out.

Meal Kit Sustainability

Many meal kits come with lots of packaging, and often only some of it is
reusable, recyclable or compostable. So, what should you look for?

“You want to look for sustainable packaging that keeps cold foods cold
from packaging to receipt—at temperatures below 41 degrees. Consumers
should ask their meal kit companies for safe, cold-chain packaging that
is fully curbside recyclable and compostable—Recyclapostable™,” said
Darrell Jobe, CEO of Vericool, Inc. “Recyclapostable packaging is
sustainable and significantly reduces consumer waste.”

Watch
this video
to learn more about meal kit safety and sustainability.

About Vericool, Inc.

Based in Livermore, Calif., Vericool delivers sustainable packaging that
protects products, people and the planet. Recyclapostable™ Vericoolers®
are the only high performing 100% compostable insulation and recyclable
cold chain packaging in the market, making them the safest replacement
for EPS/Styrofoam. Patented and patent-pending Vericoolers are
cost-effective and reliable, ensuring that food, medicines and other
temperature sensitive products stay cool from packaging to receipt.
Customizable and high-performing, Vericoolers can perform to
customer-defined ASTM and ISTA standards.

Vericool is all about delivering second chances for people and companies
to do the right thing for the planet. Those that get it—Vericooler it.

To learn more about Vericool Packaging, visit http://www.vericoolpackaging.com
or follow the company on Twitter,
Instagram,
Facebook,
and LinkedIn.

Contacts

For Vericool, Inc.
Andy Beck, 202-587-5634
abeck@makovsky.com