Our Commitment to Food Safety

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Every week, we provide you, our home cooks, with fresh ingredients and recipes to enjoy delicious meals at home. We, too, serve these same Blue Apron meals to our families. Ensuring that our customers are receiving high quality, fresh ingredients that are safe to eat is and always will be our highest priority.  We have a comprehensive food safety plan in place which is designed to ensure that food safety controls are effectively applied at every step of our supply chain, from the farm to your doorstep.

Supplier Compliance

Food safety starts at the source. All of our suppliers undergo a comprehensive food safety assessment prior to working with us to ensure that they meet our food safety requirements, and vendors are also subject to regular food safety assessments by our food safety experts and third-party auditors.

FDA-Regulated Facilities

Our fulfillment centers are regulated by the FDA as well as applicable state and local government agencies. We have a rigorous food safety program at each of our fulfillment centers across the country to ensure the safety and quality of our ingredients.

Employee Training and Education

Every Blue Apron employee who handles food in any manner undergoes our comprehensive food safety training program, in compliance with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) requirements.

Temperature-Controlled Transit

We carefully pack our boxes with insulated thermal liners and refrigerants to maintain appropriate temperatures during transit and delivery, and our team of packaging and food safety experts regularly assesses the efficacy of our packaging, which we modify as needed. For example, we alter the size or quantity of refrigerants, or use thermal liners with varying levels of insulation, based on the season, weather conditions, box contents, and delivery destination to ensure all of our ingredients arrive at the appropriate temperatures, according to the USDA’s guidance on safe temperature zones.

Point of Delivery

We advise our customers to place all perishable ingredients items in the refrigerator immediately upon delivery. You may need to plan in advance to ensure that your ingredients are properly stored right away prior to consumption, depending on the season and temperature in your geographic area at the time of delivery. If anything in your box is missing or if you are unsatisfied with the quality of one of your ingredients, we’ll make it right with our Freshness Guarantee program.

Safe Food Handling

Once you receive your Blue Apron box, it’s critical that you practice the safe storage and handling of ingredients to maintain freshness and quality, and avoid any risk of food-borne illness.

Food storage

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To ensure optimal freshness, we advise that you unpack your ingredients and store temperature-sensitive ingredients in your refrigerator as soon as possible once they arrive, following USDA instructions for food safety.

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Cheese, Dairy, Eggs

Store in the refrigerator in the packaging provided. Remove just before using. An ideal refrigerator temperature is below 40°F.

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Meat and Poultry

Store in the refrigerator and use according to the directions on the package. You can also refreeze meat and poultry items until you’re ready to use them.

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Seafood

Store in the refrigerator.  We recommend that fish and shellfish is stored in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days.  If you can’t cook your seafood within this timeframe, you can refreeze them and thaw before cooking.

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Bread

Keep all bread items stored in the refrigerator in their packaging until ready to use.

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Pasta and Grains

Dried pasta and grains go in a cool, dry place. Fresh, previously frozen pasta goes straight into the refrigerator.

Everything should be kept in its packaging until ready to use.

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Knick Knacks

Refrigerate knick knack bags until ready to use.

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Fresh Produce and Fruit

Generally, we recommend storing all fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, separate from raw meat, poultry and seafood.  There are a few exceptions to the refrigerator produce rule. For example, tomatoes, peaches, citrus fruit, onions, potatoes, and winter squash are optimally stored in cool, dry place.

Freezing and thawing

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When you’re ready to cook, make sure to safely thaw any frozen meat, poultry, fish or seafood and use immediately..  See below for the three safe ways to thaw meat, poultry, fish and shellfish once frozen according to the USDA. Perishable foods should be kept refrigerated and never be thawed on the counter or in hot water.

In the refrigerator: easiest and safest option

  • Plan ahead and thaw in the refrigerator for about 1 day before using.  Make sure to place the sealed product in a leak-proof plastic bag or rimmed dish to protect against any leaks during thawing.
  • Food thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality.

In cold water: quicker option, only to be used if cooking immediately afterwards

  • Place food in a leak-proof plastic bag and immerse it in cold water. (If the bag leaks, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment could be introduced into the food. Tissues can also absorb water like a sponge, resulting in a watery product.)
  • Check the water frequently to be sure it stays cold.
  • Change the water every 30 minutes.
  • After thawing, cook immediately.  Uncooked product cannot be refrozen.

In the microwave: only to be used if cooking immediately afterwards

  • Microwave on the “defrost” setting and stop the defrost cycle while the meat, poultry or seafood is still icy but pliable.
  • After thawing, cook immediately. Some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during microwaving. Uncooked product cannot be refrozen.

Food Handling and Cooking

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To ensure safe food handling and cooking, follow the safe-handling steps below, which reflect guidance from the USDA:

1. Clean

First, wash hands, tools, and surfaces (cutting boards, utensils, knives, countertops, etc.) with hot, soapy water before handling or preparing food. Clean the lids of canned goods before opening.

Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables, including those with skins and rinds, under running tap water. Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush. Dry all produce with a clean kitchen or paper towel before cooking.  Take care to also wash your hands, tools, and surfaces (cutting boards, utensils, knives, countertops, etc.) well after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs and preparing peppers (including milder varieties such as poblanos and jalapeños).  Clean the lids of canned goods before opening.

2. Separate

Raw meat, poultry, fish, seafood and eggs must be kept separate from other foods. Don’t wash meat, poultry, fish, seafood, or eggs. To avoid cross-contamination, prep all other ingredients first.  Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood.  Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, fish seafood, or eggs unless the plate has been washed in hot, soapy water.

3. Cook

Cook foods to the minimum safe internal temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria that could make you sick. Using a food thermometer, cook all food to the minimum internal temperatures below.  If you have any leftovers, be sure to put them in the refrigerator promptly.

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*All meat can contain bacteria that can cause illness if not destroyed by proper cooking, and some meats are riskier than others. Beef, especially ground beef, can cause particularly severe consequences if not properly cooked.

Chart from USDA, also available here.

Additional Resources:

If you ever have any questions about the safe handling of your food, please email us at contact@blueapron.com.

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