COVID-19 Service Updates
Here's how we make GO Box safe for
our subscribers, vendors, and team:
GO Box employees wear clean reusable cloth masks at all times and maintain 6-foot distance from others while on delivery and collection routes, as well as at our commercial kitchen HQ.
Our washing and sanitation process follows guidelines of the Retail Food Code by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Food Safety Program and has been reviewed by representatives from both the ODA and the Multnomah County Environmental Health Department:
- Employees thoroughly wash their hands before, throughout, and after the washing process
- Reusables are first dipped in a sanitizing solution, scrubbed in soapy water, and rinsed
- After manual sanitization and hand washing, reusables are washed in a high-heat commercial dishwashing machine
- Reusables are carefully air-dried on a stainless steel drying rack
- After drying, reusables are stored securely until delivery to a partner food vendor
GO Box employees must wash and sanitize their hands before and after every delivery, pickup, or drop box servicing. Our contact-less delivery and pickup processes minimize transmission risks and the GO Box delivery bicycles and trailers are thoroughly cleaned with 60+% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol solution before and after every route. Drop boxes are cleaned with each servicing and hand sanitizer will soon be available for subscribers during drop off.
We will continue to work with out partners to ensure a safe and healthy process to provide reusables to our community of vendors and subscribers.
GO Box Service Status
Many of our food vendors are cautiously reopening as Multnomah County has entered phase one of its reopening plan. GO Box reusables and drop site locations continue to be accessible at our food vendor partners who are open. Please note that New Seasons Market has temporarily paused borrowing and returning reusables at their locations, but we will be back when they reopen their prepared foods counter in September. GO Box never charges fees for reusables borrowed for extended periods of time, so please don’t worry about returning reusables if your usual drop site is inaccessible for the time being.
At GO Box, we have always taken our responsibility to provide a safe & sanitary reusable packaging service very seriously. With our current precautions, we are very confident that the GO Box system can continue to provide a safe alternative to single-use packaging. The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Multnomah Health Authority have vetted our standard safety operating procedures. See above for some of the precautions we are taking.
Is Reuse Safe in a World with COVID-19?
Yes. Reusables are safe, even in the age of COVID-19, as long as proper sanitation procedures are upheld. Reusable, durable products – such as plates and silverware for restaurant dining – have been safely used for years despite the existence of transferable diseases. We recommend this excellent Fact Sheet released by Upstream Solutions discussing the safety of reuse during the pandemic.
There is a theoretical risk of COVID-19 contact transfer from surfaces of reusables (or any other surface), but recent scientific studies show that risk is very low. CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes shared the following with NPR: “COVID-19 spreads mainly through close contact from person-to-person. While it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”
The plastics industry has attempted to leverage the pandemic crisis to assert that single-use disposables are the most sanitary option, with no supporting scientific studies. In fact, single-use disposable packaging does not undergo a commercial sanitation process during its production. So, we counter that our reusables, which are washed in a high heat commercial dishwashing machine, are quite possibly safer than disposables.
We do not yet fully understand coronavirus & COVID-19, so it’s important to stay diligent & up to date with peer-reviewed scientific studies & health guidelines as they are released. We will continue to update our operations & this page as new information becomes available so we can continue to provide a safe reuse service to our partner vendors & subscribers.