Transporting Frozen Food
My brother asked that I bring him frozen food when I visit him, but to visit him requires a 4.5 hour flight. We're of course packing the food in hot/cold bags made for preserving hot or cold food longer....but do you think the food will survive the 4.5 hours + airport time and pickup?
I'm not so sure it will, but he seems to think so. What are your thoughts?
I think the food will be okay when you arrive, but I would eat it right away and not refreeze it.
We flew with food on a 4 1/2 hour flight. We used insulated bags and added blue ice. everything was still frozen when we got home. You might look for a soft sided cooler. I have one, the size of a carry on. With blue ice you should have no problem.
I own one of those make & take meal assembly places and every time I go home my mother begs me to bring her some of the food. I learned to cook from her for Christ sake! Anyway it's a good eight hours from house to house - security does do a double take! I too use the insulated back pack/duffle bag. It's worked great except for the chocolate cake that hadn't been baked - it was like cleaning a horrible baby diaper!
I've carried frozen food to and from Europe, South America and the Caribbean with no problems. Much longer trips than 4.5 hours plus time on land at both ends clearing customs, etc.
The food should be frozen in a deep freeze ( 0 degrees F) and then packed solidly together. No need for blue ice since the food is its own ice. Leave as little air space between the food items as possible. A solid block stays frozen longer than individual items. Insulate the outside with layers of newspaper. If you have a styrofoam ice chest that fits well inside a cardboard box, that's the sturdiest way to package it for checking it through as baggage. I've used styrofoam boxes like Omaha Steaks are shipped in.
I've even used those to FedEx frozen foods with no problems. They arrived 12 to 15 hours later still frozen solid. Mail order companies ship ice cream and other frozen foods like this all the time. You should be fine.