Shipping perishables

August 14th, 2012 by

We are often asked about shipping perishables; anything from the top tier of wedding cakes for the first anniversary celebration to venison and sausage, to chocolate and anything in between.

The key to shipping this items successfully is keeping them cold – no mean feat in the summertime!  Many people think dry ice is the best way to accomplish this, but we prefer not to use for a few reasons.  First, dry ice is difficult to handle.  It’s so cold it can burn you if not handled with gloves.  Second, it sublimates.  This means it changes from solid directly to gas.  This means the items inside can move around once the dry ice “melts” and the boxes need to be properly vented to allow the gas to escape.  Which brings us to the last reason – the carriers consider dry ice to be a hazardous substance so there are limits to how much you can ship and which carriers you can use.

Over the years, we’ve found the best method to ensure your perishables reach their destination safely is as follows:

  1. Freeze the items solidly
  2. Purchase a rectangular Styrofoam cooler that will hold what you’re shipping plus ice packs
  3. Get ice packs of the type often called “Blue Ice”; flexible packs that can be frozen solidly
  4. Place a layer of ice packs in the bottom of the cooler
  5. Add your items leaving room on the sides for more ice packs
  6. Cover the top with a layer of ice packs and close the lid of the cooler
  7. Make sure you’ve packed everything in solidly – there should be no movement when you shake the cooler

Bring your frozen package to us about 4:00 PM on a Monday thru Thursday.  We will put it in an appropriate sized shipping box and ship out with overnight delivery for the next morning.  Depending on the weather, there may be a slight bit of defrosting, but everything will be in good shape.  Be sure to let your recipient know it will be there so they can be home to get it.  After all that effort, you don’t want it sitting out on the porch in the sun!

Of course, if you have any questions, just give us a call.  We’re always glad to help!