Rep. Brian Meyer

By a nearly unanimous vote, the Iowa House has passed a bill that would put new restrictions on food delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash.

If the bill becomes law, the companies would face fines if driver are caught eating some of the food they’re supposed to be delivering. Representative Brian Meyer of Des Moines cited a 2019 study that found one in four delivery drivers sample the food.

“That is a pretty alarming number of people stealing fries,” Meyer said, drawing laughter from other legislators “so I think that it’s important that we have those provisions in there on the food safety.”

Restaurants would be required to put food in tamper resistant containers. Delivery drivers would be prohibited from smoking and they could not have kids or pets in the vehicle when food is being delivered.

The bill also would force delivery companies to have an agreement with a restaurant before they could advertise and deliver the restaurant’s food.

“What really isn’t fair is when a national company pirates our menus and places them on their website and acts as though they are us,” said Representative Shannon Lundgren of Peosta, who owns a restaurant. “…In January of this year, my menu was pirated and we had to go through some very interesting steps to try to get removed from that website.”

The bill passed the House on a 97-2 vote. A similar bill is eligible for debate in the Senate.

(Additional reporting by Iowa Public Radio’s Katarina Sostaric)