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5 Tips for Shipping Perishable Food Items

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David Larsen
I’m a husband, dad, food blogger, photographer, writer, social media boss, entrepreneur.

We are living in a world where convenience is king. While that word means different things to different people, I think we can all agree that saving time is one of everyone’s top priorities.

In today’s modern world, we can ship just about anything, anywhere – and often even have it reach its destination overnight. Now that the pandemic is under control, we have all gone back to our insanely busy lives, learning seemingly nothing from the traumatic global experience. Hectic schedules mean next to no time to cook, which is the perfect opener for mail-order meals.

Ordering food through the mail can seem odd, but once you’ve figured out the ins and outs of shipping perishable food items – there will be no looking back. Below are five tips to help you get there:

Quick Delivery

Perishable items need to be shipped as quickly as possible. While the mail-order industry is considered safe, ordering food through the mail brings up concerns regarding shelf life, distribution, and food safety – particularly around meat and seafood products.

Choose the fastest possible delivery option, that way your food will have to spend less time changing hands and destinations before you receive it.

Wrap Well

Seal perishable food items like baked goods in shrink wrap and store them in containers with individual spaces. If you’re shipping delicate food items like macarons or meringues, cut small squares of bubble wrap and add an extra layer of cushioning between layers.

Plastic or bubble wrap helps preserve food freshness and keeps fragile confectionary items from being damaged in transit.

Package Like a Pro

Frozen foods require dry ice to help maintain cold temperatures for longer. Frozen food items are trickier to transport because they need precise temperature control; but they are not impossible to ship.

The key to successful food shipping during summer is ensuring items are well-insulated and kept cool. The correct packaging for the job is essential for avoiding a soggy mess. Pack food tightly with extra-thick walls and added insulation to ensure the items arrive in the best state possible.

Minimize Movement

To avoid fallen, damaged containers and prevent them from leaking everywhere, fill extra space in the packing with padding. Bubble wrap and packing beads are effective and provide around 2 inches of protection around the food.

Wrap tins and other containers with plastic or bubble wrap and stabilize them in the center of the box with foam inserts to keep them in place.

Fruit Shipping

Packaging is crucial for shipping fruit, whether to market or direct to a consumer. Fruit must arrive in the freshest condition possible, with little to no bruising. The trick to transporting fruit is to control the exposure to heat and humidity because that accelerates the ripening process.

To End

No matter what food item you want to ship, there will likely be a specific way to ship it. Do your research first – that will help you to find the best way to achieve your desired results.


Q: What types of food are considered perishable?

A: Perishable foods are those that can spoil, decay, or become unsafe to consume if not kept at the right temperature. This includes meats, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, cooked foods, and any items that require refrigeration.

Q: How should I package perishable food for shipping?

A: Perishable food should be packed in a sturdy, insulated container. Use cold packs or dry ice to maintain a low temperature. Seal the food in air-tight packaging to prevent leakage, and fill empty spaces with bubble wrap or packing peanuts to prevent movement during transit.

Q: What is the best time to ship perishable food?

A: The best time to ship perishable food is early in the week to avoid weekend delays. Choose the fastest shipping option possible to ensure the food arrives quickly and stays fresh.

Q: Can I use dry ice when shipping perishable food?

A: Yes, dry ice can be used when shipping perishable foods. However, it’s important to handle it safely and label your package correctly as dry ice is considered a hazardous material.

Q: Do I need to inform the carrier that I’m shipping perishable items?

A: Yes, it’s important to let your carrier know you’re shipping perishable items. Some carriers have specific guidelines for shipping perishables, and knowing what you’re shipping allows them to handle your package appropriately.

Q: What should I do if the perishable food item arrives spoiled?

A: If a perishable food item arrives spoiled, you should contact the sender or the shipping company to report the issue. They may offer a refund or send a replacement depending on their policies.

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