LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With food delivery platforms like Uber Eats, GrubHub and Postmates bursting at the seams, we wanted to know what some delivery people were doing with your food before you took a bite.
One food delivery driver – whose identity is concealed – told CBSLA’s David Goldstein he’s heard drivers talk about helping themselves to your order.
“Taking sips of soda all the time….sticking a straw in it and drinking it and putting another top on it,” he said.
So Goldstein’s team set up hidden cameras in restaurants and watched as food delivery people came to pick up – many of whom walked out with open bags where they can easily taste your food.
Cameras caught one man pick up a delivery order at a Fatburger restaurant in North Hollywood. After he put the bag on the front seat of his car, he proceeded to eat what looks like French fries.
As he backs out, he appears to put another fry into his mouth.
He proceeded to make two deliveries within minutes. On the first, the driver was seen wiping his fingers on his leg and then appears to lick them clean in his mouth.
The second delivery was the Fatburger order to a house in North Hollywood.
Goldstein then showed the video to Naimie Ojeil, who said the order was for his teenage kids.
“Horrible, disgusting,” he said.
When Goldstein confronted the driver at a later date, he didn’t have much to say.
Cameras caught another driver pick up a delivery, placing the bag on the passenger seat in his car, and then a minute or so later, he moves the bag, puts his hand inside and grab some fries before he drives away.
Minutes later, he didn’t want to talk about it. He claimed he was eating his own food and denied eating out of the bag.
“I had food in my car,” he said.
Food safety expert Jeff Nelken says delivery services in general could pose a health hazard. In fact, during Goldstein’s surveillance, he saw one driver cleaning his car mat while waiting for a delivery.
“So there are all kinds of possibilities of exposure to bacteria, to contaminants in the car and just touching everything,” Nelken said. “And then having him putting his hands into your food, that’s crazy.
“I’m someone who uses these services, I wouldn’t have even thought of that, David,” he added.
After the footage was shown to L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, she proposed having county health services work with restaurants to come up with tamper-proof delivery bags.
“We could put together a program where there’s a sealable bag so that once it arrives at the individual’s home, apartment, if that seal is broken, then they will know that somebody opened up that bag,” said Barger.
UPDATE: Just days after our hidden cameras caught food delivery drivers sticking their hands into bags and helping themselves to customer’s food before it reached their doors, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is considering a motion that could lead to sealed food delivery bags becoming the standard.