How Do You Ship Cold Perishable Food?

How Do You Ship Cold Perishable Food


Are you thinking about expanding the products you offer to include cold foods? Are you a chef or a baker and thinking about starting an online business so you can share your tasty treats with customers across the country, or the world? Do you want to surprise a friend or family member by shipping them some of their favorite goodies? Whatever the case may be, if you plan on shipping cold, perishable food, you need to know how to ship it correctly.

How Do You Ship Cold Perishable Food?

It goes without saying, shipping cold, perishable food is a lot different than shipping any other product. Cold, perishable items need to be shipped properly because if they aren’t, the person you’re shipping the items to won’t be able to consume them. So, how do you go about shipping chilled, perishable foods? Keep reading to learn how to properly package and send perishable goods so that they’re fresh, safe, and tasty.


Before discussing how to properly pack and ship cold, perishable foods, you first need to understand and identify the distinct challenges associated with shipping perishable food. By understanding these challenges, you will be able to properly address them.

Fluctuating temperatures

During the shipping process, packages are exposed to varying temperatures. This can be disastrous for cold, perishable foods, as they’ll spoil if they aren’t properly packed and shipped with dry ice, insulated foam, or ice packs.

Humidity levels

In addition to fluctuating temperatures, humidity can also be problematic. Humid conditions can also spoil perishable cold food items quickly.

Packing Cold, Perishable Foods for Shipping

Before sending shipping food items that are perishable, make sure that they’re packed and refrigerated properly in order to prevent the goods from spoiling.

Choose proper wrapping

It is best to wrap cold food items in watertight plastic bags before they are shipped. While this is true for all cold, perishable foods, it is also particularly important for anything that is prone to leaking. Consider using bubble wrap for an additional layer of protection.

Select insulated boxes

You will also need to use insulated boxes for the cold food. Using an insulated shipping box inside another shipping box will prevent the goods from moving about in the shipping container while they’re in transit. Additionally, insulated boxes will help to lock in the coldness and prevent spoilage during the shipping process.

Set items in shipping containers

Once the cold, perishable foods you are shipping are wrapped and packaged in an insulated box, set it inside the shipping container. Make sure to add cushioning, such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts, as well as cooling materials, such as dry ice or gel ice packs. Avoid using wet ice, as this can bring about additional issues during the shipping process

It’s also important to note that couriers may have restrictions in place when it comes to shipping cold, perishable items – mainly when using dry ice, as it’s considered hazardous. Therefore, make sure you check with your courier to find out about any restrictions.

Close the package, label, and ship

Now you’re ready to seal up the packaging, label the box, and ship it. Make sure that there are enough cooling materials in the package, as well as protective materials to shield the items from damage. Of course, you want to make sure that the box is well-sealed as well. Use clear, legible print when writing out the shipping label, and check to make sure that the name and address are correct.

Additional Reading: Mail Order Food Safety – Food Safety and Inspection Service

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