14 Tips for Shipping Perishable Foods

Most people often ship or mail a variety of items without any problems. Shipping perishable food, however, can be much more difficult. The following tips provide information for shipping supplies that contain perishable food.

1. Pick a Quick Shipping Option
Next day air service is the quickest shipping option for perishable food items. Ground service may be more economical but it just isn’t as fast as next day air service.

2. Keep Recipients Informed
Let the individual receiving the package know when it is expected to arrive. This ensures that they can get the food into the appropriate storage as soon as possible.

3. Choose the Best Time to Ship
It’s recommended to ship food items at the beginning of the week. If they’re shipped near the end of the week they may end up sitting in a warehouse over the weekend before being delivered.

4. Use a Strong Box
Choose a thick box that is relatively new. It’s important to remember that boxes can weaken if they’ve been used several times.

5. Wrap Foods Securely
This means using plastic or foil wrapping to keep food items secure. Never put food in boxes or any other type of packaging that isn’t securely wrapped.

6. Pack Items Tightly
Pack all food items securely by stacking them or putting them in a tin. Wax paper should be used between baked goods.

7. Secure Bottles and Jars
It’s recommended to provide 2 inches of thick cushioning around glass and other fragile items. Make sure all bottles and jars are completely sealed.

8. Don’t Pack with Newspaper
Newspaper is too thin to provide adequate cushioning. It’s better to wrap food in some type of foam or bubble wrap.

9. Be Careful with Duct Tape
While duct tape has many uses, it’s not always the best choice for sealing packages. It can loosen in cold weather and even melt when it’s hot.

10. Avoid Brown Paper Packages
Brown paper can easily tear and string can get caught up in sorting belts. It’s best to avoid these types of packaging.

11. Insulate Cold Items
Use foam to insulate cold food items. Either put cold items in a cooler or use planks made of polystyrene to make a “cooler” inside of a box.

12. Use Gel Packs or Dry Ice
Use plastic wrap or cardboard to separate the dry ice and gel packs from any food items. Dry ice will work longer but can have safety risks.

13. Dry Ice is Hazardous
When shipping supplies such as food it’s important to remember that dry ice is considered a hazardous material. Wear goggles and gloves when handling ice to prevent burning the skin. Don’t wrap dry ice since it could explode. It’s important to place the food into a plastic bag that is sealed. Then put the sealed bag on top of the dry ice in the box.

14. Check with the Company Before Shipping
Check with the shipping company being used before shipping perishables, fragile items, international shipments, or anything that is potentially hazardous.

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