mailing fresh food
dear chowhounds, i need to send my aging mother food via mail. i live a thousand miles away from her and she is not eating properly anymore. she would hate home delivered meals, she fancies herself to be a vegetarian, which to her means she eats no red meat. i know i could make her great food, but how to send it. overnight mail, with dry ice? has anyone ever done this. thank you so much.
Bonnie, I ship fresh food frequently and have never had a problem. Here's what I do: I have a vacuum sealer (freezer bags woek almost as well) and I bag up the items. Vacuum sealed bags are ideal because you cam do the boil in bag thing upon arrival. Hard freeze everything, put it in a styrofam container with frozen freezer packs (aka "blue ice") and some dry ice and surround everything in the container with styrofoam peantus. But the whole package in a cardboard box and ship overnight (I use Fed Ex because they deliver on Saturdays) and relax. It'll stay frozen for at least two days so there should be no problem. The only hitch I've experienced was a misdelivery (wrong address) to some New Jersey cretins who ate my barbecue. Fed Ex gladly replaced the shipment at no cost to me.
I'm no expert on this, but I recall recently checking on possible delivery of some highly perishable product and was left with the impression that foods properly packed in dry ice can survive several days in transit (i.e., via UPS Ground or some similar service). I'm sure someone on the board can elaborate on this.
re: Gary Soup
I know nothing about this but here is a site that discusses shipping with dry ice.
[Also UPS has a page on this
Also the USDA has something on shipping meat (i know you arent shipping red meat but it might still be helpful).
One thing to check is that dry ice seems to be considered a "hazardous material" so if you go that route run it by the shipping company.