Food Safety at Instacart

Customer trust and safety is top priority at Instacart, so we have a number of measures in place to mitigate potential Food Safety risks.

Food Safety education

  • Our Food Safety Learning and Development package helps prepare shoppers to safely handle and transport food.
  • Shoppers are guided to look for the freshest possible groceries when shopping for you; paying close attention to expiration dates, broken seals, and produce quality.

Properly Holding Food

  • If your order is shopped in advance and delivered by another shopper, your groceries are held in their prescribed  temperature controlled environment at the retail store until the driver arrives.
  • Shoppers’ commitment to using approved insulated bags or coolers ensures that temperature sensitive items are protected while in transit.

If you ever have a question about our Food Safety policies and best practices, feel free to contact us!


Tracking your order in progress

When your order is connected with a shopper, you’ll see a message in the app. If you have notifications turned on, you’ll also receive a notification.

You can access your active order any time by selecting Account > Your orders. 

During the shop, track the shopper's progress and view item changes.

You can chat with your shopper while they're selecting your items. Click on the box in the upper right hand corner of the order page to send them a message! Use this feature to add new items to the order as needed.

If you have notifications turned on, you will also receive alerts for any changes to your order such as replacements and refunds.

For help turning on notifications, click this link!

Chat with your shopper

Please Note: If your order hasn’t been connected to a shopper yet, you can manage your items, notes, and replacement options in your account.  Click here for help managing your order items.

While a shopper is working on your order, you can contact them directly about changes to your order. Here’s how to do it:  

  1. Click View order status near the top of the page OR
  2. Click Account
  3. In the dropdown menu, click Your orders
  4. Select your current order
  5. In the upper right of the page, you’ll see a chat box that says “Leave a message for your shopper here!”
  6. Enter a message to your shopper in the box. You can say something like “please add a bag of oranges!”
  7. To view replies, you’ll need to keep the page open on your browser.

Tracking your delivery in progress

When it's time for delivery, you'll see a message in the order page. If you have notifications turned on, you'll see an alert as well.

The ETA will be displayed on the order page. During delivery, you can reach out to your driver as needed. Use the Chat box on the order page to send them a message. 

Please be aware that, for safety reasons, drivers may be unable to reply to your messages while in transit.

The order screen will reflect when the delivery is complete! (And, of course, you'll get a notification if you have those turned on.)


Receiving your delivery

During delivery, the driver will head to the address you provided when placing the order. Upon arrival:

  1. Your delivery driver will review any delivery instructions you provided  
  2. If they are unable to locate you, or are having difficulties reaching the delivery location, they will reach out via chat message, text, or call.
  3. If the delivery driver is still unable to complete delivery, Instacart Care may cancel the order on your behalf.


Tips for avoiding delivery issues

  • Add detailed delivery instructions when you place your order. If your order is active, you can reach out to your delivery driver directly to share helpful information.
  • Make sure your notifications are turned on. For help with this, click here
  • Make sure the phone number on your account is correct. For help with this, click here.
  • Keep an eye out for calls from unknown numbers during your delivery window; your shopper or Care may be trying to reach you


Common causes of delivery issues:


Since delivery drivers do not use commercial vehicles, they may have difficulty parking in certain locations. We suggest sharing any helpful parking information in the delivery instructions when placing your order. If your order is live, you can send the delivery driver a message.


If the delivery address is located inside a secure community or commercial building, delivery drivers may need to take extra steps to complete delivery. Please be sure to let security personnel know in advance that an Instacart delivery will be arriving. Leaving detailed information for the shopper in the delivery instructions, or chatting with them directly is helpful.

Notifications turned off

If your driver cannot reach you, they may have to cancel the delivery. Turning on in-app or SMS notifications is very helpful for tracking and and receiving your delivery.

Unable to receive delivery

If for any reason you’re unable to receive your delivery, please contact Care immediately.

If there is someone on the premises who can receive it in your absence, we recommend adding this information to the delivery instructions when placing your order, or chatting directly with your delivery driver.

Please note: orders containing alcohol require the I.D. and signature from someone 21 or older.

Wrong address in order

It happens. If you’re entered the wrong delivery address at checkout, and a delivery driver is already on the way, please contact Care for assistance.


View your delivery receipt

Once your delivery is complete, you can quickly access your receipt in your email inbox or in your Instacart account.  

In your email inbox

When your delivery is complete, we’ll send you an email copy of your full receipt. If you’re not receiving Instacart order confirmation emails, please check your junk/spam folder!

In your account 

  1. Log into and click Account
  2. In the dropdown menu, click Your orders
  3. In the left-hand menu, click Order History
  4. Click on the order you want to review
  5. At the top of the order details page, click View Receipt

Please note: if your order contained deliveries from multiple stores, you will see each store’s items list displayed as a tab on the order details page. However, selecting View receipt on any of these store tabs will display a receipt for the complete order, including all stores.



You're welcome to tip the shopper who delivered your order through the app or our website before or after the delivery is made.

Your tips go directly to the people who are fulfilling and delivering your order. Depending on your delivery area, the tips go to your personal shopper or delivery driver.

You can add and change a tip amount up to 14 days after your delivery is complete. Your receipt will update accordingly.

When placing an order

To add a tip when placing your order, click Add in the Checkout page in the Estimated order totals box. Select the amount you’d like to tip. You can change this amount up to 14 days after delivery.

After delivery

You can add a tip after your delivery is complete through the Receipt pop-up in your account, in your account, or via the emailed receipt statement. Clicking Rate order will take you to the tip page.

  1. Log in and click Account
  2. In the drop down menu, click Your Orders
  3. Click on your recent order
  4. At the top of the order page, click Rate order

Here you can set your tip by a percentage of the order total, set a custom amount, or submit none.  


I added a tip after delivery, but I want to change it. Can I do that?
You can adjust your tip within 14 days of your completed order. Folllow the steps to access the Order page, above. Select View rating and adjust the tip as preferred.

How is a tip different than the service fee?
The service fee is not a tip and does not go directly to the shopper delivering your order. Unlike the service fee, if you choose to add a tip during online checkout, it will remain at a fixed dollar amount regardless of the final order total. For more information about the service fee, follow this link

Rate your delivery

After your delivery is complete, you can share your order rating to let us know how it went. You can give general feedback and report specific item issues.

Add a star-rating through the Receipt pop-up in your app, in your account, or via the emailed receipt statement. Clicking Rate order will take you to the rating page.

  1. Log into and click Account
  2. In the drop down menu, click Your Orders
  3. Click on your recent order
  4. At the top of the order page, click Rate order
  5. Select a star rating for your order.

I added a rating after delivery, but I want to change it. Can I do that?
You won’t be able to adjust your rating once it has been submitted. If you would like to report order issues after submitting a rating, please contact Instacart Care for assistance.

Report an issue with a completed delivery

We’re here to help! If you have an issue with your order items or delivery, let us know by following the Rate link in your delivery receipt.

For help accessing your delivery receipt, click here.

When rating your order, select 3 stars or fewer to report an issue. Indicate the problem and select submit. You will receive a followup from us as soon as possible.


I have an issue to report but I’ve already rated my order. What do I do?
If you’re already submitted an order rating, you can click here to contact Instacart Care regarding the issue. We’ll reply ASAP.

Returns policy

At this time, Shoppers cannot accept items for return.

If there is a problem with an item in your order, please click this link for help reporting the issue.

If you choose to make a return in-store, please note that in-store returns are subject to in-store policies. Some retailers may accept your digital Instacart receipt as proof of payment.