Some food requires freezing or refrigeration to keep their freshness and prevent spoilage. These perishables can be safely shipped as long as they are delivered in the shortest amount of time possible and contained in a package kept below 40 degrees F. Here are 9 helpful tips when shipping food that require refrigeration that will help ensure that your package of goodies arrives fresh and edible.
Ship frozen or refrigerated food early in the week or before holidays. This will help avoid the risk of your perishable package getting held in a warm warehouse over the weekend or holidays.
Refrigerate or freeze the food items in their shipping containers before boxing them.
Use food-grade and freezer safe containers to pack food. Make sure that the containers you will use do not react to low temperatures that may affect the taste of the food items. The containers must also have air-tight seals or lids to reduce the risk of spillage during transit. Close the lid securely and check for leaks before packing. Plastic containers with snap-on lids or plastic zip-top bags are recommended.
Place the container of cold/frozen food into an insulated foam cooler which will help the perishables maintain a constant temperature throughout the shipping process. Keep the food containers in pace by filling empty spaces with crumpled packing paper or bagged packing peanuts.
With gloved hands, place a well-wrapped block of dry ice on top of the frozen or refrigerated food, inside the cooler. Make sure the dry ice does not have direct contact with the food. For food that does not need very low temperatures, you may use cold packs instead of dry ice.
Fill remaining spaces on the top of the box with fillers to keep the items from moving around the cooler. Place a layer of corrugated cardboard on top of the box before securing the cooler lid. Tape the lid in place.
Place the sealed cooler inside a heavy-duty cardboard box. Fill empty spaces between the cooler and box with packing peanuts to prevent shifting and to keep the ambient temperature stable.
Seal the box with packing tape and cover the box with another layer of insulation, such as brown kraft paper.
Label the box of frozen food with “Contains dry ice” and “Perishables” with a permanent marker.
Take the package to a shipping company that offers overnight shipping. Opt for delivery confirmation in the form of a signature to ensure a person has picked up the package on its destination.