Shipping homemade foods safely

Shipping homemade foods should be done with care, ensuring the delicious favorites arrive safely.

Americans enjoy cooking foods that are family favorites and mailing these items to family and friends. The same rules that mail order companies must follow also apply to foods prepared and mailed from our homes. You will need to make sure perishable foods are not held in temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature danger zone) for longer than two hours. Michigan State University Extension recommends that you do not depend on cold weather to be your refrigerator or freezer when shipping either.

Food that is left in the temperature danger zone for more than two hours will have higher levels of bacteria. These bacteria cannot be seen, tasted or smelt. In other words, you cannot tell whether a food has been mishandled or if it is unsafe to eat. Whether you are sending your package a short distance or out of the country, here are some ideas to help get your package and its delicious contents to the final destination the way it was intended:

For perishable foods the United States Department of Agriculture suggests:

If you are sending non-perishable food items try these tips:

It is recommended to use the fastest shipping source available. You will also want to check dates as well to be sure you package will arrive in time. Many services have deadlines for package shipping. So many times a simple homemade treat is the best gift of all. By following these guidelines you will be sure to package your tasteful treat the right way and be sure it arrives in one piece.