Meal Kits Make Dinnertime Easier, but Here’s the Cost of That Convenience

OK, I’m sufficiently grossed out.

In theory, meal delivery services are great. They’re cost-effective and convenient, and they taste great.

But do you really know what you’re sacrificing for that convenience?

Well, it could be your health. *gasp*

A recent study from Rutgers University revealed the worst about home delivery meal kits — and the findings make sense.

The findings aren’t for anyone with a weak stomach (this is your warning, BTW).

Meal Delivery Services Can be Hazardous to Your Health

Earlier this month at the Food Safety Summit, a Rutgers professor presented research on 169 home meal kits and over 1,000 consumer interviews.

Of the 169 home meal kits, nearly 47% of the meats, seafood and poultry arrived at over 40 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning they were unsafe to consume.

Hot food hot, cold food cold. If you’ve ever worked in the restaurant industry, you know temperature control is a vital part of food safety.

According to Delish, many of the animal products delivered were laden with pathogens.”

Gross. So gross.

Why is this happening?

The research revealed that part of the issue is the length of time between refrigeration and delivery. Products are often left outside for eight hours or more, which increases the chances of the food becoming hazardous.

Eating food that’s been stored at unsafe temperatures can result in foodborne illness from germs like listeria, E. coli and salmonella.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

What You Risk for Convenience

When you pay for convenience, you’re paying for someone else to do the heavy work for you. Sometimes that heavy work is labor you just don’t have time for — which, in this case, is grocery shopping.

But when you make a decision based on convenience, you should be aware of the costs associated with it.

You may save time by getting meals delivered straight to you, but you’re also opening a black hole of health hazards.

This isn’t to say meal kits are bad. But a little extra consideration on your end, like having someone at home for the delivery so they can properly store the food, should be part of the process.

Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.