Tips for Shipping Perishable Food

Posted in Expedited Shipments, Shipping Industry and tagged on

Maybe the cliché, “It’s a can of corn,” came from the ease of shipping such an item. Canned food can be shipped easily without much worry for how or when it will arrive. When it comes to cakes, meats, dairy products and the like, however, shipping is not, “a piece of cake.” Most food, though, can be shipped successfully, if you consider the necessary details.

Shipping perishable food simply requires a reliable cold source, a sturdy insulated vessel (Styrofoam coolers are the best choice), and proper package cushioning. Dry ice works best for all coolers in shipping, but if you use it, be sure to mark the box or container clearly so the recipient will not touch it with his or her bare hands. Always ship these kinds of foods as overnight or next day service.

When packing perishable foods, place a dry ice block on the bottom of a cooler, followed by a few sheets of newsprint or good packing paper. Be careful with the dry ice! Place the item atop the block of dry ice and crumple newsprint to stuff around the empty space of the item(s) in your cooler—the less air space, the better. Pack the cooler to the top with paper and insulation. Tape the lid of the cooler shut tightly and box the cooler in the snuggest fitting box you can find. Be sure to fill any air in the outer box with more newsprint or packing peanuts.

Leave instructions inside of the box for the recipient regarding food handling instructions and the contents of the box, remembering to warn them about the dry ice within. All shipped boxes should be double checked for correctly labeled addresses, but especially when shipping perishable food. It can even be unsafe for a box with perishables to circulate and return to sender. With extra attention to details, any food is safe to ship, though personally canned, jarred, or corked food stuffs can be trickier to cushion safely. If you are unsure about how to properly keep an item from bursting, breaking or leaking during its travels, refrain from shipping it until you devise a suitable method.

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