Can’t go home but want that homemade steak your mother makes with the secret recipe that has been passed down through the generations? Food should be able to be shipped and not just delivered, if you know what we mean. Turns out, it can be. And without resulting in the food changing color, turning soggy or melting all over the package. It’s all in your hands!
Food is a temperamental client, its health and mood depend on the temperature, humidity and its shelf life. Here are a few ways for you to ship those perishable items safely, while keeping insulation and refrigeration in mind. After all, you only want the best for your loved ones. So it’s only fair that they get the taste of your kitchen while being hundreds of miles away.
This is without a doubt the most important thing. The right packaging can make all the difference in the condition of your goods when they arrive. Let’s go through this in a few points.
1. Create An Airtight Seal
Cakes which are themselves less than fresh won’t hold up much in transit. Use shrink wrap for Bundt cakes and pies and plastic wrap for the more delicate goodies. If you are sending cupcakes in transit, select a holder or container with individual spaces and press a candy stick into the cupcake or anything else of the sort to prevent the lid from impacting the cupcake.
Similarly, while packing macarons, put a small piece of bubble wrap between each of them as an extra cushion to prevent them from smashing each other. In case of cookies, either pack them each in a shrink bag or in heat sealed plastic. While putting them in a tin, make sure the arrangement is snug and not loose, to avoid breakage.
Wrap the tins and holders in plastic and seal all the edges with tape as an extra measure. Take the necessary precautions to keep out the unwanted heat and moisture. That’s the only way the food is going to hold up in transit.
2. Use Padding To Minimize Movement
Note that the items in your package should move as little as possible. So fill up any extra space with bubble wrap or rolled up paper to ensure that the items move as little as possible (Or not at all) while in transit. The box itself should be sturdy, and any holder or tin in it should be at a distance of 2 inches from its walls, the space stuffed with foam, paper or bubble wrap. That’s how you make sure that the food reaches its destination the way it is intended to.
3. Use Watertight Plastic When Required
If you are shipping seafood, steaks or basically anything that has juices that can leak over some time, wrap it up in watertight plastic. If you are sending live seafood, leave the bags open for air.
Soggy boxes make no one happy. Even excellent food will reach its destination looking very unhappy. As an extra step, wrap the inside of the box with some plastic as well. While you’re at it, place an absorbent mat or material inside to soak up the leaked juice or water and avoid damage to the food and the container.
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Shipping Frozen Food
Shipping frozen food involves controlling the temperature of their transit. For that, one may use gel packs or dry ice. Keep in mind, however, that shipping dry ice may only be done across states and not internationally. It involves a lot of care while handling. At the same time, all the information in regards to it should be given to the transit services, so that care is taken accordingly.
Gel packs are ideal if you need the food to be between the temperatures of 32-60 F. But dry ice is the better option if you want to keep your food frozen. Make sure you wear gloves when handling it, as it is essentially nothing but frozen carbon dioxide. It is a hazardous shipping material and carries the possibility of exploding, if not packed properly. Best way to use it is to wrap it up in a newspaper and then line the box with it.
Keep in mind the restriction on the shipping of dry ice before using it. You should probably read a guide on its handling before getting your gloved hands on it.
A tiny tip for you, pre cool the container itself before using it. This is to get the maximum mileage of the gel packs or dry ice, whichever you choose to use. Once the due care is taken, sit back, relax and pray that the receiver of the package appreciates your efforts till the end of time.
Shipping fruits and vegetables is worth it only when they arrive in the freshest condition. Here are some things to keep in mind when shipping them.
- A bad apple spoils the bunch. Remove damaged and blemished fruits beforehand.
- Don’t squeeze in too many fruits. This could cause squishing or bruising. Instead, fill up the empty spaces with paper or bubble wrap.
- Be wary of the temperature sensitivity of the fruits and the place you are shipping it to. Take precautions as required.
- When shipping in bulk, pack containers tightly while taking into account the availability of sufficient air.
- Keep in mind that fruits continue breathing even after harvesting. Which means that some fruits like apples need to be kept apart from other items, as they tend to absorb the smells.
Also Read: How To Price Your Food Product for Food Business
Shipping perishable goods is almost a science and a rather interesting one at that. It doesn’t have to be intimidating or impossible. Just follow the basic rules of maintaining space, insulation and temperature. Take care of these things and you will have a perfect package on hand, ready to deliver and reach in perfect condition. Anytime you want to show your love or your packaging skills of perishable items, you know what to do. Don’t hesitate to pass on the baton to your loved ones!
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